MAKING MARKETS, MAKING BIODIVERSITY: UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY POLITICS by JESSICA ANNE DEMPSEY B.Sc, The University of Victoria, 2002 M.A, The University of British Columbia 2006 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Geography) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) November 2011 © Jessica Anne Dempsey, 2011 ii Abstract Pricing and market exchange, we are now often told, are the only routes through which biological diversity can be saved. The objective of this dissertation is to examine the material-semiotic processes and networks by which a kind of ‘economized’, and even at times, ‘entrepreneurial nature’ comes to be. I ask: how did biodiversity become entangled in economic rationalities and market calculations? What are the circuits of knowledge and power producing biodiversity in this way? What calculative devices, methodologies and policies are created, or envisioned as necessary to make biodiversity conservation economic? And what are the implications, especially for the kinds of nature produced? To answer these questions, I study several ‘circuits of power and knowledge’ through which biodiversity is rendered visible, legible and especially economically calculable within global environmental governance. Not taking the subject of my thesis for granted, I begin by examining the rise of biodiversity in the 1980s, and its entanglements in notions of human security and as a source of exchange value, especially for biotechnology related applications. With this foundation, I go on to examine the Beijer Institute biodiversity programme, where, in the early 1990s, leading economists and ecologists met and developed a consensus on ‘the problem of biodiversity’, a consensus that is steeped in economic rationalities and methodologies. The rest of the dissertation focuses on very contemporary ‘circuits’ wherein ecologists, economists, NGOs, international institutions, and private firms attempt to render biodiversity economic, and, in some cases, profitable. This includes an examination of the rise of ecosystem service frameworks and models focused on weighing ‘trade-offs’ between different environmental management policies, attempts to produce biodiversity loss as a ‘material risk’ (meaning impacts on the bottom line calculations of firms), debates over how to make biodiversity markets, and intergovernmental negotiations focused on developing regulated market-like mechanisms that could finally achieve ‘green development’. In each of these cases I focus on how biodiversity is made visible and legible for governance, which means focusing on the conceptual apparatus, but also the calculative devices that quantify and value biodiversity and ecosystem changes. iii Table of Contents Abstract ................................................................................................................................ii Table of Contents................................................................................................................ iii List of Tables ........................................................................................................................v List of Figures......................................................................................................................vi List of Acronyms ................................................................................................................vii Acknowledgements ..............................................................................................................ix Dedication............................................................................................................................xi Chapter 1. Introduction .........................................................................................................1 Approach ..........................................................................................................................7 Research methodologies - tracing circuits of power and knowledge.................................19 Key themes and contributions..........................................................................................32 Dissertation roadmap.......................................................................................................40 Chapter 2. The Rise of Biodiversity.....................................................................................45 Introduction.....................................................................................................................45 Violence to non-humans is violence to Homo sapiens......................................................47 The rise of biological diversity ........................................................................................54 Consolidating biodiversity: and the trouble with biodiversity measurement .....................60 But does biodiversity matter? The ecosystem function – services debate. ........................66 Conclusion ......................................................................................................................74 Chapter 3. Rendering Biodiversity Economic......................................................................78 Introduction.....................................................................................................................78 Ecologists meet economists – the Stanford connection ....................................................83 Beijer Institute, Stolkhom, Sweden..................................................................................86 The purpose of biodiversity conservation – to protect ecosystem resiliency .....................90 Optimizing political-economic life – internalizing externalities .....................................102 The policy model: defining what ought to be done.........................................................109 Beijer-Policy Linkages ..................................................................................................113 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................115 Chapter 4. Calculating Tradeoffs: The Rise of Ecosystem Services ..................................119 Introduction...................................................................................................................119 Rise of ecosystem services in biodiversity conservation ................................................122 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: how to make better ‘tradeoffs’..............................128 iv InVEST – a calculative device to model trade-offs ........................................................138 Making markets?...........................................................................................................154 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................156 Chapter 5. Biodiversity Loss as Material Risk ...................................................................160 Introduction...................................................................................................................160 Biodiversity loss as material risk ...................................................................................166 Calculative ‘risk’ devices ..............................................................................................180 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................190 Chapter 6. Growing ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Finance’ ...............................................194 Introduction...................................................................................................................194 The state of the “markets" .............................................................................................198 It ain’t carbon!...............................................................................................................202 A taxonomy of actors and projects.................................................................................205 Making markets.............................................................................................................213 Credibility and workability: zombie mechanisms, or efficiency mechanism?.................220 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................224 Chapter 7. Negotiating Biodiversity Capital ......................................................................226 Introduction: PINC meets the CBD ...............................................................................226 Making ‘innovative financial mechanisms’ at the CBD .................................................230 WGRI 3 – Nairobi, Kenya, May 2010 ...........................................................................232 Green Development Mechanism....................................................................................245 Nagoya, Japan – 10th Conference of the Parties to the CBD...........................................260 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................269 Chapter 8. Conclusion.......................................................................................................274 Reflections ....................................................................................................................280 References ........................................................................................................................285 v List of Tables Table 1. Author participation in global biodiversity conferences 2008-2011........................32 Table 2. Crane information sheet.........................................................................................99 Table 3. Genetic differences between cranes .......................................................................99 Table 4. Conservation diagnostics ....................................................................................101 Table 5. CBD decisions using ecosystem service language................................................157 Table 6. Reports addressing the risks of biodiversity loss ..................................................169 Table 7. Key CBD-sponsored events where innovative financial mechanism are discussed in the lead up to COP 10................................................................................................232 Table 8. Overview of meetings at which the GDM initiative is present and active at .........257 vi List of Figures Figure 1. The author in Nairobi, Kenya at a Convention on Biological Diversity negotiation ....................................................................................................................................29 Figure 2. Priority protected areas identified in the 1980 IUCN World Conservation Strategy ....................................................................................................................................50 Figure 3. The 25 hotspots ....................................................................................................66 Figure 4. Logic underlying the concept of ecosystem services .............................................68 Figure 5. Policy analysis framework from Beijer project on biodiversity .............................88 Figure 6. The four ecosystem functions and the flow of events between them .....................92 Figure 7. Optimal policy regarding conversions ................................................................104 Figure 8. Summary of factors affecting global biodiversity................................................114 Figure 9. Model of ecosystem service framework employed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment................................................................................................................133 Figure 10. Summary results from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.........................135 Figure 11. Eight categories of ecosystem service trade-offs ...............................................136 Figure 12. Biodiversity market dark humour .....................................................................152 Figure 13. Biodiversity in the global risk landscape...........................................................161 Figure 14. McKinsey Greenhouse Gas Abatement Curve ..................................................204 Figure 15. The little biodiversity finance book ..................................................................226 Figure 16. Delegates entering the UNEP compound. Photo by author................................233 Figure 17. UNEP compound. Photo by author. ..................................................................234 Figure 18. Plenary Hall in Nairobi. Photo by author ..........................................................236 Figure 19. Draft recommendations for ‘innovative financial mechanisms’ as first proposed in Nairobi at the 3rd WGRI.............................................................................................238 Figure 20. Contact group negotiations in Nairobi. Photo by author....................................241 Figure 21. Nagoya conference centre. Photo by author. .....................................................261 Figure 22. Inside the Ministerial plenary at COP 10. Photo by author................................262 Figure 23. Photo of action at COP 10 ................................................................................265 Figure 24. Photos of action at COP 10...............................................................................265 Figure 25. Press conference in Nagoya announcing Dodo Awards.....................................282 vii List of Acronyms AHTEG Ad Hoc Technical Expert Groups ALBA Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America BBRs Biodiversity Business Risks BSR Business Social Responsibility Network CBD Convention on Biological Diversity CDM Clean Development Mechanism CEQ Council on Environmental Quality CER Certified Emission Reductions CESR Corporate Ecosystem Service Review CI Conservation International COP 10 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity COP 9 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity CRP Conference Room Paper CSD Commission on Sustainable Development CSR Corporate Social Responsibility EIRSI Experts in Responsible Social Investing ES Ecosystem Services ESP Ecosystem Service Provider ETS European Trading Scheme FAO Food and Agriculture Organization FI Financial Institution FFI Flora Fauna International FSC Forest Stewardship Council GBO Global Biodiversity Outlook GDM Green Development Mechanism GEF Global Environment Facility IBAT Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool IFC International Finance Corporation IFM Innovative Financial Mechanisms IIFB International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity INBio Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute IUCN International Union for the Conservation of Nature MA Millennium Ecosystem Assessment MSC Marine Stewardship Council NAS National Academy of Sciences NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NRC National Research Council OCED Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OTA US Office of Technology Assessment PES Payments for Ecosystem Services PINC Proactive Investment in Natural Capital REDD Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation REIT Real Estate Investment Trusts SBSTTA Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), SCOPE Scientific Committee on the Problems of the Environment SMS Safe Minimum Standards TDR Tradable Development Rights TEEB The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity project TNC The Nature Conservancy UNDP United Nations Development Program viii UNEP United Nations Environment Program UNEP-WCMC UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change USAID US Agency for International Development VCS Voluntary Carbon Standard WB World Bank WBCSD World Business Council on Sustainable Development WCED World Commission on Environment and Development WDPA World Database of Protected Areas WEF World Economic Forum WGRI Working Group on the Review of Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity WSSD World Summit on Sustainable Development WTO World Trade Organization WWF World Wildlife Fund ix Acknowledgements This project emerged out of an almost decade-long participation in two worlds – the University of British Columbia’s Department of Geography and my many friends and colleagues working around the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). I owe many thanks to those in both worlds. Around the CBD, I can’t believe my luck in meeting inspiring, insightful and fierce activists like Patrick Mulvany, Simone Lovera, Barbara Gemmill, Chee Yoke Ling, Pat Mooney, Ricarda Steinbrecher, Jim Thomas, Hope Shand, Christine von Weizsacker, Helena Paul, Maurizio Ferrari, Joji Carino, and many more. I continue to learn so much from all of them. At UBC, Trevor Barnes has provided the most supportive but also demanding supervision. He is a model supervisor: rigorous and probing but always trusting the directions I chose. He had my back the whole way along. I will miss tea and cookies at his house and his cryptic but always-incisive scrawl on the side of my drafts. Gerry Pratt and Juanita Sundberg led me through scholarly but also political debates in courses, over wine and in the hallways at 1984 West Mall. They model a kind of feminist, political scholarship that I aspire to. While not at UBC, Scott Prudham dispensed incredibly helpful advice from afar. And Michael M’Gonigle has asked me really hard, political questions for over a decade now. I have learned so much from all of them, especially as academics who demand rigour, but with incredible openness and often with their politics displayed on their sleeve. Then there are my fellow graduate students and post-docs. I have been fortunate to meet many great ones in my term at UBC: Chris, Jo, Matt S, Bonnie, Ted, Alex, Pablo, Fiona, Tyler, Sarah, Michael and many more. Kevin Gould, Matt Dyce, Shiri Pasternak, Jono Peyton, Emilie Cameron and Rosemary Collard are probably some of the funniest and most fun people to be in grad school with, as well as hefting serious scholarly might. I still wonder how I got so lucky at UBC (and Toronto). I am so grateful for their ongoing friendship and collaborations. I also thank all those who generously gave of their time to be interviewed in the course of my research. And my travel-intensive research would have been impossible without the generous support of the Trudeau Foundation and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Finally, I would like to thank my good friends Susie McGee, James Rowe, Geoff Mann, and Michelle Bonner for being just so awesome, all the time. The East Vancouver x Specials also provided important exercise/beer distractions over the last years. I am also grateful for my familial support: Nate, Trish, Rhett, Erica, and especially my Mom and Dad. Somehow amongst all these people, projects and places I also spent a good part of the last decade playing Clue, riding bikes, listening to Harry Potter and drinking beer with Ryan and Sean. The biggest thank you goes to those two, who made life so sweet that it became clear we had to share it with two more, arriving soon. xi Dedication For Mom and Dad 1 Chapter 1. Introduction Trondheim, Norway – February 2010 In Trondheim, Norway in the dead of winter, I am walking home from a major international biodiversity conference with a bureaucrat. A scientist by training, his job involves negotiating for a large, Northern government at meetings of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. He lays out for me, with frustration, the barriers he faces getting his home country to do anything interesting in regards to international biodiversity conservation, within the realm of the developmentalist, economic-growth-obsessed federal government uninterested in truly changing the tides of loss. Unless we can make biodiversity relevant to other Ministries, especially to the Ministries of Finance, he explains, everything will continue to go downhill. It is his long-standing experience within the bureaucracy that makes him see hope in growing collaborations with the private sector, and within the attempts to value and price biodiversity loss. Making biodiversity a part of governing calculations, this bureaucrat makes clear, is incredibly difficult. The cards are staked up so heavily in favour of business as usual economic development, he finds glimmers of hope in economic approaches that make biodiversity visible in terms of dollars and cents. United Nations Environment Program Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya – May 2010 Head-setted (for translation) bureaucrats settle into their chairs in the concrete-clad plenary hall for opening statements from Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The weeklong negotiation focused on implementation of the decisions and work programs of the CBD is just beginning. Opening statements are often the most boring and repetitive of international negotiations, when governments welcome and thank each other, and speak in generalities and platitudes. At this meeting, many statements focus on the resolute failure to stop global biodiversity loss - rates of species loss are estimated to be increasing, not decreasing despite the decisions and work programs of the CBD itself. The ‘lack of implementation’ is the mantra of the day. The delegate from Brazil is a welcome reprieve from the other statements. Talking with flair and drama, and carefully chosen pauses, he lays out the problem facing actual implementation of the decisions and policies laid down by the almost 20 year history of the Convention. This, he states, is a simple problem of lacked resources, both technical and financial (but especially financial). The Brazilian ushers an uncharacteristic (for diplomatic negotiations) challenge to developed countries: “who”, he said slowly, “will make declarations of binding provisions?” The negotiation focuses not only on the question of bi, and multilateral financial resources, but also on the potential creation of ‘innovative’ financial mechanisms, often seen as code for ‘market mechanisms’. Viewed as an ‘escape route’ for countries in the North who are to pay for the incremental costs of conservation, these mechanisms are disputed by several Southern nations. The discussions are heated; at one point, delegates from the Africa group even oppose mention of a report of an ‘expert’ workshop on innovative financial mechanisms, seen as being dominated by a particular cross-section of Northern delegates and experts. This dissertation emerges out of many conversations and observations with many actors in the global biodiversity apparatus.1 These conversations took place in conference 1 I discuss this term in detail later in the introduction. 2 centres, over wine and cheese, in book-filled and paper-scattered academic offices, as well as through skype. In the course of my research project, I engaged with people trying to figure out how to achieve biodiversity conservation – saving ‘life on earth’ - and also, in many ways, trying to achieve vast social and political changes on the ground, in nations, in communities, changes that will allow other kinds of lives to matter, and even thrive. 2 The two research moments chronicled above begin to illustrate the sites of my research, and provide a sense of the various actors and spaces I engaged with in the course of my research. The first moment above, in Trondheim, Norway – where I participated in the 6th Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity, an international conference focused on the latest international biodiversity science and policy – gives a sense of the barriers facing bureaucrats concerned with extinction and the future of biological diversity. Here I engage with a weary bureaucrat, an ecological scientist in a federal government, who is increasingly unable to have traction within the machinations of the state regarding biodiversity loss, despite the growth in the global policy effort around it. This is, I posit, the typical day-to-day experience of bureaucrats in countries all over the world, who are often incredibly committed to making non-human bodies visible to decision makers, but who are themselves often marginalized, and unable to make significant changes. These are the very practical, and some would say tragic conditions that many actors – bureaucrats, non-governmental conservationists, scientists - in the global biodiversity apparatus face. Biological diversity is simply not visible nor valued by many governments, and as such, as this bureaucrat explained to me, must be made much more visible in economic terms, as these are the terms that ‘decision-makers’ understand. Paven Sudkev, a former banker with Deutche Bank and the head of a major international initiative to value global nature (know as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) project) broadens this claim in a recent interview. He argues that both governments and most of the global population do not care about biological diversity. “We have tried the argument about human beings being part of nature and the planet being our only hope," says Sukhdev, We have played that movie a number of times but it has not generated the results …The majority of the global population now lives in cities and are disconnected from nature; not just a physical distance but also an emotional distance. There are many 2 Biodiversity is commonly defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources, including, 'inter alia', terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. 3 people who think water comes out of taps and that milk comes from the supermarket…This disconnection is real so we have then got to speak the language of economics to show there is a connection. In his view, economic value is the key trajectory, the route to valuing non-human lives. This kind of message is tragic in that it demonstrates all too well the very structural constraints of the present, constraints that Sukdev approaches as insurmountable or inevitable.3 It is also tragic in that it reflects a sorrowful or lamentable situation. Sukdev himself says it is a “major failure of humanity that we should even be in a position where we have to put an economic value against the majesty of nature herself” (all quotes from Confino 2011). But Sukdev’s message is also tragic in that it deepens and worsens present structural constraints by suggesting that the only path to value is through dollars and cents (Gibson Graham 1996). Also propelling this view is a larger realization that biodiversity conservation focused on protected area creation and endangered species, while often leading to improved situations for many non-human species (with sometimes intensely unequal and violent repercussions for humans), have failed to arrest adequately ongoing biodiversity loss (for good overviews of conservation policies and practices over time see Adams 2004, and Brockington et al 2008). Some statistics from the latest Global Biodiversity Outlook are telling in this regard. For example, populations of wild vertebrate species fell by 31% globally between 1970 – 2006, species with known trends are considered to be close to extinction (the greatest species threats are with amphibians and warm water corals), decreases in crop diversity and tropical deforestation continues (although it has recently slowed in some countries) (CBD 2010a). The Global Biodiversity Outlook claims, “there is no indication of a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity, nor of a significant reduction in pressures upon it” (CBD 2010a, 17). There are various rationales for this failure, the most dominant ones usually begin with the lack of significant political will for conservation and for bringing biological diversity into mainstream policy making, and into decisions about economic developments and investments. The mantra goes: if only we had the right numbers – meaning costs of biodiversity loss expressed in monetary terms - to show people (especially leaders) what we are doing to ourselves. As the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Ahmed Djoghlaf, stated in a meeting with civil society just prior to COP 9 in Bonn 3 This is a similar use of tragedy or tragic that Garret Hardin uses in his famed essay ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, in that Hardin frames overuse or environmental degradation as inevitable (a tragedy) within un- propertized social relations. 4 (May 2009), “the largest corporation in the world is not Wal-Mart. It is nature”. So just like Wal-Mart delivers American consumers the 'stuff of life' at cutthroat prices, so too does biodiversity. We just don't recognise it as such. In the second of my opening vignettes, set in Nairobi at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Program, we encounter head-on the ever-crushing colonial present, a critical aspect of global biodiversity politics. Here a delegate from Brazil reminds Northern governments of their responsibilities to pay for biodiversity conservation, a tenent agreed upon almost 20 years earlier at the Rio Earth Summit, and a core aspect of the sustainable development compromise.4 We hear the frustration of nations promised ‘green development’ (McAfee 1999), including the resources to make it possible for Southern ‘developmentalist’ states to reduce poverty, closing the gap between the North and South while at the same time conserving biological diversity. This was the promise of Rio: that contributions from the North in terms of technology and resources would enable sustainable, green economic growth in the South – green developmentalism. As the delegate from Brazil makes clear, ‘green developmentalism’ has not come to pass in any scale or shape, at least not in any scale or shape to ameliorate biodiversity loss, rates of which are increasing, not decreasing. This situation of insufficient resources, and especially the lack of financial resources, and the overarching issue of continued, and deep, North-South inequities is tied up with the previous vignette. Northern bureaucrats (such as the one I walked with) must negotiate at international meetings and also with finance ministries and political leaders in their home countries to free up resources. I begin this dissertation with these moments because they demonstrate well the contemporary moment in the global biodiversity apparatus. The contemporary moment can be characterized, most generally, as a renewed, and desperate effort to produce biodiversity conservation as an economically rational policy trajectory, one that might even be profitable (if the conditions are right). As the second moment in Nairobi demonstrates, this is not an uncontested or unchallenged move. Contestations are North-South oriented, but also face internally challenges from existing knowledge and metrics. 4 The original Articles of the CBD spell out clearly the differentiated responsibilities for meeting the objectives of the CBD. This kind of relation is the impetus behind Article 20, which states clearly that Parties in the North must pay for incremental costs of conserving nature. This Article reads: The developed country Parties shall provide new and additional financial resources to enable developing country Parties to meet the agreed full incremental costs to them of implementing measures which fulfil the obligations of this Convention and to benefit from its provisions and which costs are agreed between a developing country Party. 5 This research project is an investigation into this contemporary moment of increasingly economized and marketized biodiversity, and how it came to be. In this dissertation, I ask: how did biodiversity become entangled in economic rationalities and market calculations? What are the circuits of knowledge and power producing biodiversity in this way? What calculative devices, methodologies and policies are created, or envisioned as necessary to make biodiversity conservation economic? And what are the implications, especially for the kinds of nature produced? The objective of this dissertation is to examine the material-semiotic processes and networks by which a kind of ‘economized’, and even at times, ‘entrepreneurial nature’ comes to be. To do so, I study several ‘circuits of power and knowledge’ (Roy 2010) through which biodiversity is rendered visible, legible and especially economically calculable within global environmental governance. Not taking the subject of my thesis for granted, I begin by examining the rise of biodiversity in the 1980s, and its entanglements in notions of human security and as a source of exchange value, especially for biotechnology related applications. With this foundation, I go on to examine the Beijer Institute biodiversity programme, where, in the early 1990s, leading economists and ecologists met and developed a consensus on ‘the problem of biodiversity’, a consensus that is steeped in economic rationalities and methodologies. The rest of the dissertation focuses on very contemporary ‘circuits’ wherein ecologists, economists, NGOs, international institutions, and private firms attempt to render biodiversity economic, and, in some cases, profitable. This includes an examination of the rise of ecosystem service frameworks and models focused on weighing ‘trade-offs’ between different environmental management policies, attempts to produce biodiversity loss as a ‘material risk’ (meaning impacts on the bottom line calculations of firms), debates over how to make biodiversity markets, and intergovernmental negotiations focused on developing regulated market-like mechanisms that could finally achieve ‘green development’. In each of these cases I focus on how biodiversity is made visible and legible for governance, which means focusing on the conceptual apparatus, but also the calculative devices that quantify and value biodiversity and ecosystem changes. The impetus for this research project emerged out of my own nine-year engagement in this world as a participant in global biodiversity politics through my work with the 6 Convention on Biological Diversity Alliance.5 Through my involvement with the Alliance (beginning 2002), I have participated in the last thirteen major negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and worked with many NGOs (from the global North and South) to develop analysis and position papers on global biodiversity issues. It was in those negotiations, in the ‘text’ of the decisions and agreements that I began to observe a shift in discourse towards what I thought was increasingly economic framing of biodiversity conservation. This included a growth in ecosystem services discourse in CBD decisions, as well as increasingly active participation of the private sector in the Convention negotiations, often working in partnership with NGOs. In full disclosure, my project also emerged out of political affiliations I have with people and organizations that express deep scepticism of market-oriented policies. Indeed, I have co-written critical policy briefings on the issue (CBD Alliance 2010) as well as articles expressing my own scepticism (Dempsey 2010a) At the same time, as a graduate student, I was also immersed in broader discussions about neoliberalism, as well as questions about governance, power and knowledge. With these experiences and knowledge frameworks, my project set out to investigate the contemporary moment in global biodiversity politics, to understand especially how economic and market- based approaches became necessary, or even common sense, as the only way to conserve nonhuman life on earth. What is at stake in this project? The statement above made by Pavan Sukdev, that the only hope for nature is to “speak the language of economics”, is becoming increasingly dominant, a part of the broader assent of neoliberalism (Harvey 2005). It is a powerful, end- of-history call sidelining other arguments, beliefs, and relationships that exist, or might be possible to have with the diverse array of species on this earth. By tracing through the circuits by which this increasingly ‘common sense’ notion came to be, I hope to open some space for alternative conceptualizations. While the purpose of my dissertation is not to demonstrate whether an economic approach will work or not, through the course of this dissertation I also draw out the contradictions, paradoxes and politics that face the proponents 5 The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Alliance is a network of civil society groups advocating for diverse and effective participation in CBD processes. The Alliance is premised on the belief that global policy- making should be a transparent and democratic undertaking, not the purview of global elites. Some of my personal contributions include fundraising over a million USD dollars, developing governance structures, producing policy analysis, coordinating increased participation of Southern and Indigenous civil society representatives, liaising with Convention Secretariat to increase opportunities for civil society participation in expert and technical meetings, organizing workshops and strategy sessions on issue areas, and producing the widely-read civil society dossier ECO. 7 of such an approach. This is important especially because economists and other experts often portray their models and ideas as neutral ‘cameras’ of the world, simply reporting and picturing the world as it is. Rather, as Foucault nicely states, ‘the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticize the working of institutions which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticize them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight them’ (quoted in Rabinow 1984, 5). However, critique for me is only one part of the political task at hand, as I noted above in my work with the CBD Alliance, I am an active participant in global policy making. In other words, I am not a critical ‘camera’ on the worlds I study, but an engine in its reproduction (something I discuss in more detail later in the introduction). I now turn to a full discussion of the approach taken in this dissertation, particularly focusing on the theoretical resources that frame my project. Approach Governing global biodiversity – the modalities of power In aiming to understand how economic and market-based approaches became normalized and necessary to ‘save life on earth’, my dissertation research project derives – in part - from Foucault, and Foucault-inspired investigations. In particular, Foucault’s analysis of power relations, and his explanations of how power operates in modern society are helpful for understanding the kinds of power operating in global biodiversity politics, and their links to governmentality. In this brief section, I distinguish between two forms of power relations outlined by Foucault, their historical emergence, and relevance for this dissertation: disciplinary power and biopower. Foucault (1995) argues that a major transformation in political power relations occurs in the 17th-18th centuries when sovereign power comes to be complemented by the operation of disciplinary power.6 It is a form of power relation centred on the individual body, that 6 The basic attribute of sovereign power, argues Foucault, comes down to holding the “right of life and death” (Foucault 2003, 240), meaning the sovereign holds the power to either put people to death or let them live. As Foucault starkly suggests, “it is at the moment when the sovereign can kill that he exercises his right over life” (Foucault 2003, 240). While not elaborated on extensively in this thesis, on-going species extinctions or the decimation of entire ecosystems exemplifies how sovereign power operates in modern times between human and nonhumans, a power that is premised on the complete and utter decimation of non-human life, or what Foucault might term a ‘seizure’ of life. For example, scientists predict that due current rates of ‘ocean acidification’ (a condition resulting from increase absorption of carbon in oceans occurring due to increased atmospheric greenhouse gases), the world’s oceans will be devoid of hard corals – central to coral reef ecosystems – by the middle of this century. This ‘sovereign’ relation between humans and non-humans is what 8 Foucault demonstrates by drawing out mechanisms and techniques that aim to organize and survey individuals to promote optimal behaviour, efficiently, such as schools, hospitals and prisons. It is a form of power that is built in the mode of visibility itself, into the very architecture of institutions. The exercise of disciplinary power is more subtle than other forms of power like torture, inducing in those observed “a state of conscious and permanent visiblity that assures the automatic functioning of power” (Foucault 1995, 201). Foucault’s focus on the technique of visibility is important to this thesis because making visible the contributions of biodiversity is often the goal of “rendering economic”. Making non-human lives visible, especially in terms of dollars and cents, is meant to induce humans to act differently, to ‘permanently’ account for nonhuman life (something I expand on later in this introduction). In ‘making visible’, there are also implications for non-humans, and for relationships between humans and nonhumans. However, in this thesis I do not express those implications in terms of ‘discipline’. It is unclear – and outside the scope of this project – to think through to what extent ‘nonhumans’ can be disciplined or not. Rather, as I outline below, I focus on the kinds of natures that are produced as they become more or less visible through economic calculus. In the History of Sexuality, and also in Society Must be Defended, Foucault connects his concern with the ‘micro’ techniques of power in institutions like the prison to more ‘macro’ concerns with regulation of not “man-as-body”, but rather “man-as-species” – power relations he characterises as ‘biopolitical’. Biopolitics, for Foucault, is a form of power that operates less around a Hobbesian “right to kill”, or to “take life and let live”, but rather through a desire to “promote life, to optimize the forces, aptitudes and life in general” (Youatt 2008, 401), or to make live. This is a form of power that focuses on “administering and rationalizing life” (Youatt 2008, 400) to secure the health of the population. Scholars taking a biopolitical approach to power focus on the “disciplining of individual bodies (to optimise their capacities, usefulness and docility) and the regulation of the population or ‘species body’” (Pratt 2004, 13), ends achieved through “regularization” (Foucault 2003, 247), normalisation, technique and control. , Historically, Foucault demonstrates the emergence of biopolitical forms of power through the emergence of new knowledges about the population: birth and death rates, illnesses, economic indicators – especially measured in statistical terms, and also linked to inspired many biologists, ecologists, conservation activists to focus on this issue, creating the notion of biodiversity in the 1980s (see chapter two). 9 interventions aiming to adjust and control “macro” processes (i.e. birth control, public hygiene, insurance). This includes, as the “last domain” of biopolitics, “relations between the human race… and their environment, the milieu in which they live” (Foucault 2003, 245). Relations at the scale of the population must be managed to promote and optimize life to achieve “an overall equilibrium that protects the security of the whole from internal dangers” (Foucault 2003, 249). The ‘whole’ of concern for Foucault, especially as expressed in Society Must be Defended is that of the nation-state. Importantly, Foucault continues to ask where ‘the power to kill’ resides in a biopolitical frame, even though it is focused on the optimization of life. He states: “How can the power of death, the function of death, be exercised in a political system centred on biopower?” (2003, 254). In Society Must be Defended, Foucault explores this through an exploration of war and state racism. Racism, for Foucault is a “way of introducing a break into the domain of life that is under power’s control: the break between what must live and what must die” (254). Under state racism, biopower operates to justify, or rationalize killing in that the death of “the other”, or the “inferior race” (255) in order to make the population of concern “healthier and purer” (255). Killing is permissible when it results in “the elimination of the biological threat to and the improvement of the species or race” (256). In this dissertation I extend biopower to help think about what is going on in global biodiversity conservation. Biodiversity conservation, I argue, is usefully thought of as biopolitical in that it is focused on securing the health of homo sapiens through the management of aggregated set of non-human bodies – biodiversity (see also Youatt 2008). Unlike a biopower organized around the state, the concern here is less with the health and wellbeing of national citizens, but rather a more global citizenry. Humanity, under a global biopolitical conservation logic, relies upon another mass of diverse bodies, or biological diversity. Care of human life thus requires care of non-human life. This is a kind of environmental biopolitics directed not at securing the wellbeing of the state, but for the whole world (Hannah 2011). It is deeply concerned with humanity’s social reproduction (Cooper 2008). This does not mean that all lives are equal or deserving of care, and in this dissertation I draw attention to moments when certain lives become more or less expendable, and why. 10 Governmentality Through Foucault, our attention is constantly focused on the productiveness of power, or how techniques of power produce subjects and objects. Governance, as Foucault describes, is not only about managing human and non-human things, but about producing, and re- producing subjects and objects, including the very subject of this dissertation – biological diversity. Biopower then is always linked to processes of governance. For Foucault, the ‘art of government’, or what he terms governmentality, semantically linked together governing (gouvener) with a model of thought (mentalité), indicating that understanding the project of government requires studying both the “technologies of power”, like laws or the circulation of capital, and also the “political rationalities underpinning them” (Lemke 2001, 191). This means also focusing on how concepts are defined, and how arguments and justifications are developed, what Lemke describes as the “discursive field in which exercising power is rationalized” (Lemke 2001, 191). Governing thus is as much about the construction of truths as it is about governments, political leadership or political-economic power, and biopolitical governance is focused on securing, promoting and optimizing life. Governance, for Foucault, is thus neither equivalent to the state, nor to political sovereignty, although those are important aspects. Rather, examining governance means examining the techniques, knowledges, relations of power through which the “human subject is constituted in relation to itself and constellations of power” (Clayton 2000, 318). In this dissertation when I use the term governance, or govern, I am drawing on these terms in their broad sense, and expand them to include the ways in which both human and non-human subjects are constituted in contemporary relations of power. In understanding practices of governance, Foucault emphasizes an examination of “the formal conceptual apparatus needed to render objects and subjects visible in some fashion” (Luke 2009, 136, my emphasis). In my dissertation I use the term ‘global biodiversity apparatus’, a notion that draws from Foucault (1977), who defines it an apparatus as a thoroughly heterogeneous ensemble consisting of discourses, institutions, architectural forms, regulatory decisions, laws, administrative measures, scientific statements, philosophical, moral and philanthropic propositions–in short, the said as much as the unsaid…. The apparatus itself is the system of relations that can be established between these elements (194) When I refer to the ‘global biodiversity apparatus’ my vision is of a heterogeneous ensemble that Foucault refers to, one that is “responding to an urgent need” (Foucault 1977, 195). By 11 this I mean that the global biodiversity apparatus is strategically focused on bringing into being forms of governance that can account for and conserve global biodiversity. Importantly, Legg (2011) argues that while apparatuses “are etymologically and genealogically indissociable from regulation and government” (131), “their very multiplicity necessarily opens spaces of misunderstanding, resistance and flight” (131-132). Here Legg draws attention to how apparatuses have some coherence (otherwise they could not be characterised as an apparatus), but they are not closed. Legg further argues that when studying apparatuses we should challenge ourselves not to find “abstractions or ideal types”, “but actually-existing heterogeneous multiplicities that govern, incite and move us, through mechanisms unsaid and said, at various scales” (132). My study is very much a study of ‘actually-existing heterogeneous multiplicities’ focused on rendering biodiversity economically visible, legible and calculable. Throughout my dissertation, I highlight the challenges, tensions and disputes that happen within the ‘art of government’. Social movement actors and NGOs actors challenge the apparatus from the margins, but the apparatus itself is also fraught with its own tensions, worries and anxieties about what to do, and how to govern, and how to represent life. Attempts to govern, or achieve the “right disposition of things” within the mappings of the administrative apparatus are not just challenged by the “witches’ brew of processes, practices, and struggles” (Li 2007, 28), but are themselves a “witches’ brew”. In my examination of the global biodiversity apparatus, I am particularly interested in the link between economic renderings of biodiversity and ‘the art of government’. In my dissertation project, I focus on the various, heterogeneous ways biodiversity is brought into “[sy]stems of representation”, that is, “to map, measure, monitor, and then manage what must be governed” (Luke 2009, 136). Similarly, in the Antipolitics Machine, Ferguson (1990) sets out to understand the development apparatus surrounding the country of Lesotho. Ferguson shows how the institutions of development create their own particular knowledge and representations of the object (Lesotho), and these institutions and knowledges come together to form a kind of conceptual apparatus, a structure of knowledge of Lesotho, that then link to specific interventions, programmes and policies (governance). In relation to biological diversity more specifically, my project is informed by the critical development scholar Arturo Escobar, who, writing in 1998 and from a Foucault-inspired post-development framework, argues that biodiversity discourse “anchor[s] an entire apparatus for the 12 dispersion of new truths throughout vast social domains” (55), articulating new relations between nature and society. For Escobar, biodiversity conservation is produced by an “institutional apparatus that systemically organizes the production of forms of knowledge and types of power” (56). He goes on to argue: International Institutions, Northern NGOs, botanical gardens, universities and research institutes in the first and third worlds, pharmaceutical companies, and the great variety of experts located in each of these sites occupy dominant sites in the network. As they circulate through the network, truths are transformed and re- inscribed into other knowledge-power constellations. They are alternatively resisted, subverted, or recreated to serve other ends, for instance, by social movements, that become, themselves, the sites of important counter discourses” (56) As Escobar’s quote suggests, biopower operates throughout society and through diffuse sources of power/knowledge that includes, but is not reducible to the desires of the state, or capital. Indeed, one of Foucault’s key contributions is to direct us to the multiple sites of power, what Pratt (2004) calls “‘local centres’ of power-knowledge” that include the workings of liberal democratic states and sources of capital, but also many other sites like the church, the school, the family, and in my case, policy institutes, NGOs, global bureaucracies, scientists, economists, and financiers. Scholars working in the realm of eco- or green governmentality, focus on how ecology or earth sciences, expert and academic knowledge, are “fundamental to the production of regimes of governmentality that create the conditions of possibility to speak about nature as something in desperate need of governing by particularly located experts” (Rutherford 2007, 298). Ecology then, is a part of “a power/knowledge regime, producing the truth about nature, the way it can be told, and by whom” (Rutherford 2007, 298). And as my dissertation shows, ecological knowledge is increasingly entangled with economic rationalities and analytical techniques. Given this, my research approach draws extensively from notions of neoliberal governmentality, to which I now turn. Neoliberal governmentality My dissertation focuses especially on the increasingly dominant economic rationality in biodiversity discourse and practices, often at the intersection of economics and ecology. Foucault’s (2008) recently translated lectures at the Collége de France (1978-1978) are helpful in this regard, where he elaborates the notion of neoliberal governmentality. Foucault distinguishes between two different ideal types of neoliberal rationality at work – one based in Germany - the Ordo liberals, and the other around the Chicago School - American 13 neoliberalism. While Foucault’s discussion of these ideal types is wide ranging, here I briefly describe them both, focusing on drawing out the analytical ideas most relevant to the themes of my dissertation. Ordo liberals The Ordo liberals describe an ideal type of neoliberal rationality centred on Germany and political-economists such as Wilhem Ropke, Walter Uecken, Alexander Rustow, and many others. These Ordo liberals, Foucault argues (all page numbers below come from Foucault 2008), played an important role in postwar reconstruction efforts. A key dilemma facing these theorists was in conceptualizing the relationship between the state and the market, in particular to reconfigure the legitimacy of the state not as an authoritative power that could never be questioned (and thus be open to fascism), but rather whose legitimacy is based upon producing a “space of freedom for its economic partners” (106). Foucault describes the challenge facing the Ordo liberals: how to make the state acceptable “on the basis of an economic freedom that will both ensure its limitation and enable it to exist at the same time?” (102). What is at issue for these theorists, Foucault argues, is whether “a market economy can in fact serve as the principle, form, and model for a state which, because of its defects, is mistrusted by everyone on the right and left” (117). The solution of the Ordo liberals, as Foucault interprets it, was to not focus on carving out a space of economic freedom within the state, but rather to remake the state’s legitimacy in the form of the market, adopting the free market as the “organizing and regulating principle of the state, from the start of its existence up to the last form of its interventions” (116). The market becomes central to the “general art of government” (131). For the Ordo liberals governing for the market does not equate with laissez faire in the sense that the government should just get the hell out of the way. Rather, the key characteristic of the Ordo form of neoliberal rationality and governance centres on cultivating competition. For the Ordo liberals, competition is critical for securing a form of market-style governance that is centred on establishing differences, measuring economic magnitudes between those differences, and regulating choice (119, 142). But competition is not a natural characteristic waiting to be unleashed if only the state would get out of the way. We are not born enterprising, the Ordo liberals attest, and as such a key aspect of the art of neoliberal government is to create the conditions upon which competition can be fostered. As such neoliberal governmentality requires not laissez faire, but actually “permanent vigilance, 14 activity and intervention” (132) on the part of the state. Foucault draws on an example of proposals “to make agriculture to function as a market” (141) in Europe, which requires creating the conditions (a framework) under which this marketization can take place. This includes reducing the agricultural population, increasing technical improvements, modifying legal frameworks including inheritance laws, changing the availability of land and the quality of the soil (140-141). These, Foucault argues, are the ‘conditions’ upon which the kind of market governance will be created in the realm of agriculture (conditions that he claims informed the development of the Common Agricultural Policy in Europe). Critical in Foucault’s discussion of the Ordo liberals for my dissertation is both his focus on creating the conditions for competition, and his insistence that creating these conditions require governmental intervention that is “no less dense, frequent, active and continuous than any other system” (145) (i.e. when compared to Keynesian approaches that aim to protect certain aspects of society from the negative aspects of markets, like unemployment insurance). As Foucault makes clear, these interventions (regulations, laws, policies, etc) are not focused on correcting the problems of the market (such as inequities or employment) but rather on creating the conditions so that “competitive mechanisms can play a regulatory role at every moment and every point in society” (145). This leads Foucault to explain a key aspect of neoliberal governmentality - the diffusion and multiplication of “basic units” (148), by which he means individuals or institutions who take on the form of enterprise. Similarly, as we will see, economic and market-approaches to biodiversity are often confronted with the problem of getting the right ‘conditions’ in place so that biodiversity can in some way become a competitive entity, an ‘enterprising unit’ (see chapter five and six especially). American neoliberals The Ordo and American neoliberals share much in common, according to Foucault. But while for the Ordo liberals the market is a ‘way of governing’, or a technology of governmentality, Foucault (2008) claims that American neoliberals take it further, with market rationality become “a way of being and thinking” (218). American neoliberals, Foucault argues, extend economic rationality far beyond economics “with its own intrinsic rationality, laws and instruments” (Lemke 2001, 197), and apply them more broadly in other spheres of life. It is in American neoliberalism, where we see a more “complete and exhaustive” generalization of the economic form of the market (243), including the whole of 15 the social system not usually conducted through or sanctioned by monetary exchanges (243). In doing so, neoliberal governmentality investigates non-economic areas and forms of action in terms of economic categories” (198), enabling the practices of governance to be evaluated via economic and market rationalities. “In the process” as Lemke (2001) summarizes, “economic analytical schema and criteria for economic decision making” are transposed “onto spheres which are not, or certainly not exclusively economic areas, or indeed stand out for differing from economic rationality” (197). Foucault’s discussions of neoliberal governmentality, and those drawing from him, are helpful in exploring the increasing articulations between ecologists and economists, particularly as we see ecological analysis becoming focused on questions related to the “way in which scarce means are allocated to competing ends” (222). Political theorist Wendy Brown argues that neoliberal governmentality is an important extension to more traditionally Marxist or political-economic analyses that often focus more on the effects of neoliberal economic policies. These analyses, she argues, “fail to address the political rationality that both organizes these policies and reaches beyond the market” (Brown 2005, 38). Viewed this way, neoliberalism is not only about achieving resource allocation efficiency, or opening up new sites for accumulation, but is also a normative and constructive project that reaches “from the soul of the citizen-subject to education policy to practices of empire” (Brown 2005, 39), with a broadly generalized goal of making economic rationality, including markets, a central plank to organize all dimensions of life, both human and non human. Taken further, neoliberalism is a project of setting the conditions for the production of self-maximizing, enterprising selves. For Larner (2000), Neoliberal strategies of rule, found in diverse realms…encourage people to see themselves as individualised and active subjects responsible for enhancing their own well being…as active agent[s] both able and obliged to exercise autonomous choices (11). Taking the Ordo liberal focus on competition to the extreme, ‘American neoliberalism’, as read through Foucault, aims to produce a “new kind of homo economicus” that is “an entrepreneur of himself” (226, my emphasis). I will take up the notion of ‘entrepreneurial nature’ as one of the key findings of my dissertation at the end of this introduction. Neoliberal governmentality is an important analytical concept for my dissertation because it takes a broader approach to understanding the social relations of ‘neoliberalism’ that goes beyond a focus on general characteristics like privatization and commodification 16 (approaches dominant in the neoliberal natures field, see Heynen et al 2007). What goes on in “rendering biodiversity economic”, as I detail in this dissertation, is not always linked to the production of new money-making opportunities, or an attempt to turn everything into the commodity form – although sometimes it is very much about this. Privatization and marketization are processes that some advocating and producing ‘economic biodiversity’ reject (see chapter four and seven). More broadly, and thus usefully for my project, neoliberal governmentality points to the multiplication of economic rationality and calculus in processes of governance, which is sometimes an attempt to create new commodities, but is often more broadly about creating new forms of economic calculation in order to help choose between two or more courses of action. Performing markets Rendering biodiversity economic and marketable, or neoliberal, does not just mean developing shared ideas or concepts or rationalities, or laws and policies. It requires the creation, and linking together of many elements, including the development of laws and the ‘regulatory apparatus’, but also models and methodologies. In this vein, my research project also draws from scholars working on the performativity of economics, and particularly those writing on market creation. Similar to Foucault’s focus on the productiveness of power relations, scholars like Mitchell (2002, 2007), Callon (1998), MacKenzie (2006) describe economics and economists not as describing or explaining the world, but rather as intervening in the world, as performative, operating as an Engine not a Camera (the title of MacKenzie’s 2006 book). As Berndt and Boeckler (forthcoming) describe, the perfomativity of economics occurs in multiple ways through the work of economists themselves as they “act as consultants for firms, marketplaces, governments or regulatory bodies”. But it can also happen when economists’ tools and instruments become utilized by market actors or policy makers (Berndt and Boeckler forthcoming). As this suggests, this literature draws from science and technology studies in insisting that the actors involved in market-making and in performing economics are not all human. Rather, markets include ‘prostheses, tools, equipment, technical devices, and so on’ (Callon, cited in Barnes 2008, 1435). Scholars working in this realm see markets and the possibility for exchange as produced through incredibly large amounts of work. As Barnes (2008) summarizes, markets arise only a “result of very different elements working in concert, joined” (Barnes 2008, 1434). Or as Lohmann (2009) describes, markets are produced 17 only by laborious and ongoing processes of construction of spaces for calculation and transaction, of accounting systems that determine both who is accountable and how and what to count and not to count, and of simplified, uncontroversial owners, products and modes of ownership (500). Indeed, Callon and Muniesa (2005) describe markets as “collective devices that allow compromises to be reached, not only on the nature of the goods to produce and distribute but also on the value to be given to them” (1229). In my dissertation I trace many “different elements” – including the development of new calculative devices – that are (sometimes) “working in concert” to make biodiversity economic and marketable. Calculation, put generally, aims to “establish distinctions between things or states of the world, and by imagining and estimating courses of action associated with those things or with those states as well as their consequences” (Callon 2005, 1231, drawing from Latour 1987). And, as Muniesa et al (2007) posit, calculation is not a “universally homogeneous attribute of humankind, nor an anthropological fiction” (5). Rather, calculation is a “concrete result of social and technical arrangements”, arrangements that can be described as ‘calculative devices’. Calculative devices make it possible to compare and contrast different courses of action in the realm of biodiversity conservation. This includes, for example, the creation of new (and sometimes arcane) equations that link ecological information with economic cost benefit accounting, the creation of spatially- explicit computer models to weigh trade-offs in land use choices, and the production of new methodologies of risk assessment aiming to show private sector firms risks they face from changing ecosystems and biodiversity loss. The calculative devices I study in the broadest sense are those “that renders things, behaviours and processes economic” (3). And what do I mean by economic? Economic, following Munisea et al (2007) often refers to “establishing valuation networks”, to “pricing and to the construction of circuits of commerce that render things economically commensurable and exchangeable” (4). They go on, importantly, to note that the “economic” can also be “said of a particular configuration that aims at ‘economizing’ in the sense of saving or rationing” (4). In the same article Munisea et al (2007) propose that markets are constructed and performed through what they call ‘market devices’, by which they are referring to the “material and discursive assemblages that intervene in the construction of markets” (2). These devices include analytical techniques for valuation, pricing models, 18 merchandising tools, trading protocols, indicators, and so on (see Munisea et al 2007, 2), devices that allow for circulation, pricing and exchange. The notion of ‘market device’ is a more bounded notion than the more general terminology ‘calculative device’, but both should be read as assemblages that are political, as well as technical. They are political in that they are linked to governance, to ‘the art of government’. Devices “do things” (Munisea et al 2007, 2), “they act or they make others act” (2). Thus, the way a calculative or market device is set up, “tinkered with, adjusted and calibrated affect the ways in which persons and things are translated into calculative and calculable beings” (Munisea et al 2007, 5). These insights are most helpful in chapters four and five of this dissertation where I explore new calculative devices that aim to render biodiversity economic and marketable. Barnes (2008) adds an important geographical insight to this literature in noting the importance of situating the performativity of economics and markets somewhere in the world. Understanding the geography and geographical travels of economic theories and models, and the geographies of the human actors linked to them, is a critical aspect of my dissertation. In this dissertation we see how the work of market making happens at international law negotiations (chapter six) in Kenya and Japan, at Stanford University, within institutions located in Washington-DC, London, Geneva, and Stockholm (for example). In tracing these ‘circuits’, we develop an understanding of where political rationalities and ‘market devices’ originate and travel, and a sense of the overwhelming Northern location of this project. Making markets in biodiversity is not easy, and throughout the dissertation I foreground the many uncertainties, challenges and debates surrounding the project of making biodiversity visible and, especially, ‘economic’. But the uncertainties and challenges should not lead us to making claims that there are “things that are by their nature resistant” (Lohmann 2009, 503) to marketization. Rather, the benefits of a performative approach is that it focuses our attention to the ways in which the ‘work’ of market making, and new calculative devices and accounting methodologies, produces new subjects and objects of calculation. For environmental markets, this means, in some cases, changing the actual subject, or goal that the environmental policy set out to accomplish. In my dissertation we see a shift away from the end goal of biodiversity conservation towards ecosystem services (chapter six). As Lohmann aptly describes: 19 “But where accounting practices required for a new market encounter complexities, uncertainties, nonlinearities and indeterminacies that they cannot immediately accommodate, they also actively rework their objects, whether they involve humans or non-human objects, to try to make them more ‘passive’ and tractable to the agencies of calculation” (503). The production of nature The Lohmann quote ending the previous section introduces the final body of literature that I draw from in my dissertation. In understanding the way that biodiversity is increasingly entangled with economic logics, in this project I am intensely concerned with the kinds of nature that are being produced. When I say that I am concerned with the production of natures resulting from economic calculus, I am intensely concerned with which nonhumans become more or less ‘killable’, or as Haraway aptly describes, “which companion species will, and should, live and die, and how” (2008, 18). My research approach is compelled to understand the kinds of bodies – human and non – that come to matter through this apparatus as they become more closely entwined with markets, economics and capital (e.g. Haraway 1996, 2008; Rajan 2006). In this way, my project is tied up with how nature is produced – materially and discursively – in relation to capitalist economic processes. By capitalist economic processes I mean a system of exchange that is characterised by private ownership of means of production and labour power, where distribution and exchange take place in a mainly market economy, and is largely oriented around capital accumulation (production for profit). Lohmann’s quote above draws our attention to how ‘accounting practices’ are not just descriptive, but also “rework their objects” of accounting. In bringing together a study of calculative devices and market making with a production of nature approach, I am concerned with the kinds of material-semiotic natures that are produced, as biodiversity is rendered economic. This rendering is not only about how best to manage biological diversity, but also about the meaning and value of biodiversity and ecosystems, bringing forward new ways of adjudicating between the kinds of nature that will thrive (or not), and for whom. As the final three chapters of my dissertation show, this criterion is increasingly based on profit and loss, and in close relation to the dominant social relations of capitalism. Research methodologies - tracing circuits of power and knowledge To discuss my project approach and methodology, it is helpful to start by clarifying what this research project is not. It is not a study of the creation and implementation of one 20 ‘neoliberal policy’ in one particular place, as is common in geography and political ecology (i.e. see chapters in Heynen et al 2007). Neither is it an ethnography of a commodity in the making with a fine-toothed analysis of how a particular patch of forest, or woodpecker habitat, or wetland, becomes commensurable with another. Indeed my dissertation focuses little on the machinations of biodiversity conservation ‘on the ground’, in communities, or on researching the direct “impact” of the economization of biodiversity. And while I draw from debates and evidence about the effectiveness of market-based policies, the purpose of this dissertation is not about arguing that markets, or economistic approach, do or do not solve global environmental issues. Rather, it is a project that aims to characterize the global biodiversity apparatus, and, in particular, to examine the material-semiotic processes by which biodiversity is ‘economized’. This means paying attention to broad constructions of problems and the production of rationalities by specific actors and institutions. In asking “how did biodiversity become entangled in economic rationalities and market logic” and “what are the contemporary circuits of knowledge and power rendering biodiversity economic”, my project draws from Foucault, and Foucault-inspired investigations. It reflects, to some extent, my desire to take an emerging fact or truism – that in order to make live, one must make economic – and trace its genealogy. The “emerging” aspect of this truth is something that distinguishes my research approach from Foucault’s, who tended to study subjects well-calcified and formed, those that truly seem “without history” as with the emergence of scientific classification. In my case, I am applying a similar logic in that I am keen to understand the moments when certain ideas become created and accepted, but to something more fluid and contemporary. Indeed much of my research project is focused on ‘policy in the making’. In other words, except for chapters two and three, it is a study that is steeped largely in the here and now. This kind of perspective brings a particular view of the contemporary biodiversity apparatus, one that shows things that are “in the works”, what Cori Hayden (2003) calls “an indeterminate and multiform process” (5). Throughout the project I highlight much of the contradictions and paradoxes, as much of what goes on is promissory and unrealized. Methodologically, my project is one of ‘critical transnational policy studies’, focused especially on understanding the work of professionals, experts, scientists, and other global elites as they attempt to make biodiversity visible, governable, and even, profitable. Similar to Ananya Roy’s Poverty Capital and Michael Goldman’s Imperial Nature, this approach 21 focuses on the work going on in ‘centres of biodiversity calculation’, to characterize the kinds of knowledge being produced and to understand how this knowledge circulates and collects allies. Goldman (2005) traces the knowledge produced by one such centre, that of the World Bank (which itself is composed of many centres), whereas Roy (2010) focuses her investigation of microfinance on three ‘circuits of poverty capital’ producing ‘truths’, which she locates in institutions and actors in Bangladesh, Washington and the Middle East. Inspired by global commodity chain analysis, Roy (2010) describes her methodology as one that traces the construction and management of not bananas or coffee, but rather the ‘commodity’ of ‘microfinance policies and practices’, which she terms ‘poverty capital’. In tracing circuits, Roy draws attention to the multi-sited entanglements of institutions, actors, governments and firms that construct ‘poverty capital’, emphasising the interconnectedness but also the contestation and negotiations. Similarly, in my research I trace not the circulation of a commodity like coffee, or bananas, but circuits of ‘power and knowledge’ focused on making biodiversity visible, legible and in some cases, profitable. I say ‘circuits of power and knowledge’ because unlike Roy, my project does not focus on tracing the contemporary circuits of ‘biodiversity capital’ in the monetary sense, by which I mean flows of actual investments in market-based biodiversity conservation.7 My project focuses more narrowly upon tracing the ‘circuits of power and knowledge’ through which biodiversity is rendered economically calculable.8 In practical terms this means that I focused on the articulations largely among academics and experts that are trying to create the ‘truths’, ‘order of things’ or more broadly, the conditions upon which a more robust ‘biodiversity capital’ might emerge.9 In developing my research project, I began by identifying important individuals and organizations for ‘making biodiversity marketable’, identifying the centres of calculation for both the contemporary moment, but also in the (recent) past. But, too, in addition to studying the kinds of people and institutions, I also set out to understand the ‘work’ that is done to ‘render economic’, including the production of new relationships, methodologies of comparison, and calculative devices. This links to another of 7 My postdoctoral research project is set to study the circulation of capital and investments in biodiversity conservation. 8 I chose to follow Roy in her use of the term ‘circuits’ over the more commonly used ‘networks’ because they suggest that the routes traveled are more well worn and regularized. While networks are used in a wide variety of senses in the literature, circuits is a terminology and representation that fits better with the world I study, a world where many of the same institutions and people appear and re-appear over and over again. 9 Compared to the circuits of ‘poverty capital’, the circuits of biodiversity capital would be legions smaller and more insular, both in terms of number of participants, but also in terms of capital flow. 22 my research questions: what calculative devices, methodologies and policies are being created, or envisioned as necessary to make biodiversity economic? Drawing from the work of science studies scholars like Latour, and those also studying economics (Callon 1998, Munisea et al 2007, Lohmann 2009), answering this question meant identifying and examining emerging calculative devices that are necessary to make the truths stick, that can make markets work, or make entities comparable. This is necessarily multisited research, because these circuits do not take shape in a single location, but “rather through dislocations and transnational crossings” (Roy 2010, 198). In practice, this means examining the interplay between diverse actors: bureaucrats, economists, scientists, and financiers, located in different institutions as they collaborate and grapple with the problem of biodiversity loss. For me, these included, for example, visiting the offices of IUCN in Gland, Switzerland, the Stanford Biological Sciences department, the Vermont Institute for Ecological Economy, and numerous conferences and negotiations where the global biodiversity apparatus gathers – in conference centres, and in negotiations of multilateral policies. It is important to state clearly that the circuits I trace are resolutely not global. Indeed, these are regularized and well-worn pathways between a handful of academic institutions and international organizations predominately in the United States and Europe, and between what we might consider a small group of individuals and organizations especially when compared to something like the microfinance industry. In my preliminary doctoral research, I identified four transformations that I hypothesized could ‘get at’ a broad understanding of the global biodiversity apparatus, or tell a story of the governance of global biological diversity. These include: (1) the birth of biodiversity itself in the 1980s within ecology and environmental policy, focusing especially on entanglements with economics, (2) the rise of the concept of ecosystem services and valuation, (3) the production of biodiversity loss as financial risk, and (4) attempts to turn biodiversity into a globally tradeable, capital-generating asset. I chose the latter three because they are prominent approaches in the contemporary global biodiversity apparatus whereas the first is a contextual and genealogical investigation focussing on the production of biological diversity itself. Put generally, my research project set out to examine, as discussed above, the ‘circuits of power and knowledge’ – the actors, institutions and knowledge innovations - propelling these transformations. To understand 23 these circuits and the transformations, through the course of my research I ‘touched down’ investigating specific actors, events, policies and knowledges (i.e. institutions, tools, methodologies) that elucidate the broader apparatus. For example, chapter two focuses on the rise of biological diversity within circuits of (largely United States-oriented) ecological science, but also policy-makers; chapter three focuses in on the ecologists and economists who gather around the Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics, and their work on biodiversity economics; chapter six focuses on attempts to turn biodiversity into material risk, and examines specific tools and methodologies for doing so; and chapter seven focuses on one attempt to make an internationally approved biodiversity credit, and narrows in on negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity. So while my aim is to look broadly across global biodiversity politics, the project is full of empirical detail and specificities. Before outlining my research methods each in detail, I first reflect on my own position within this project. Programmer or critic? It is critical to note that my research on this topic is not one of passive observer, but rather as one of active participant. As noted at the beginning of this chapter, I came to this research project with almost decade of experience in global biodiversity politics, largely oriented around the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Working with a wide range of NGOs and social movements organized around the CBD Alliance my participation includes attending 13 international negotiations, organizing, editing and researching background lobby documents, producing daily NGO analysis of negotiations, and at time helping to organize and participate in actions. In other words, I conducted this project as an actor and participant in the circuits of knowledge and power that give shape to the global biodiversity apparatus. My research was both enabled and constrained by this position. Enabled in that I began the project already aware of many of the networks and the players, and with a sense of the political and scientific debates, particularly those happening around the CBD. Indeed, I developed this particular research project because of my direct observations of changing discourse around the CBD since 2002, a discourse moving towards increasing economic and market oriented frameworks. My participation in the ‘circuits’ of global biodiversity politics during my research also helped tremendously. While conducting research, I also organized and facilitated strategy meetings for the CBD Alliance over the internet and in person. 24 During these meetings, I learned tremendously from others gathered about the policy and political terrain, developing joint NGO policy statements and analysis on the negotiations of international law and policy. In preparation for the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the CBD, which is the subject of chapter seven, I edited and produced a joint policy paper with over 40 NGOs. Called the ‘The TOP 10 for COP 10, it was widely circulated on the internet and at the negotiation itself. As one can imagine, working on these types of projects helped me understand not only the lay of the land for my own project, but also to see the broader terrain of politics and to understand the never-ending slew of acronyms. I conducted my doctoral research in complete immersion with the CBD process. Indeed, I sometimes worried that my work with the Alliance was distracting from my research project. In terms of constraints, my position as an ‘insider’ in the CBD policy process also means that I sometimes take for granted much of what happens in global policy making. Because of this familiarity and my position ‘in the circuit’, my research was sometimes less about making the strange familiar, but rather making the familiar strange (Roy 2010). My research was also constrained in that my political work at times came into conflict with my research. For example, at one point the daily lobby document I co-edit, titled the ECO, published an article critical on the Green Development Mechanism (GDM) (discussed in chapter seven) at a negotiation of the CBD in Nairobi, Kenya. My association with the publication meant that I was unable to interview some key proponents of the policy mechanism, as well as being publicly criticized by people I had actually hoped to interview (one of which I still interviewed). In the course of my research I often found myself, as Roy nicely describes, in zones of awkward engagement, engagements where I was constantly without a clear identity. Was I a researcher? An advocate? Tania Li (2007) distinguishes between what she calls the programmer and the critic. The programmers are those who design projects and map initiatives, whereas the critic is one who stands at arms length, a distance she deems necessary to critique (see also Brown 2005). My approach is different. I approach my research subject as a critic, but I am often in search for the gaps and fissures that can be exploited, and brought into the practice of a better, global biodiversity politics. In my research, I am, with reference to Donald MacKenzie (2006) aptly titled book, ‘an engine, not a camera’. With my colleagues in the CBD Alliance, we have recently defined what we are seeking as “biodiversity justice”. While the concept needs further specification, some key principles are emerging, as the excerpt from our briefing states (note: when we ‘call on 25 Parties’, we are referring the Parties to the CBD, meaning government signatories, of which there are 193): We call on Parties to strengthen (not weaken) the Convention’s core principles – like the ecosystem approach, the precautionary principle, and an understanding that biodiversity cannot be separated from those humans who nurture, defend and sustainably use it … Parties should adopt a biodiversity justice approach, which means not only upholding the rights, dignity, and autonomy of all peoples, but also respecting the rights of all living things. A biodiversity justice approach places the custodians of biodiversity at the centre of policy making, and as the most critical beneficiaries of biodiversity policies. These critical communities and their conservation and management systems should be rewarded, not commoditized or forced into neo-liberal economic agendas (CBD Alliance 2010). Research methods Conducted between 2008-2011, my research project is multi-sited, and draws from multiple methods, including interviews, analysis of policy documents and other written materials, and participant observation. My research also included genealogical academic research into the birth of biodiversity and the entanglements between ecology and economics, investigations that make up chapters two and three. I detail each research strategy below in turn. Interviews I conducted semi-structured interviews with a wide range of actors (n=27), and 26 of these interviews were recorded. Interviews were selected not randomly, but rather purposefully, focused on accessing key individuals and institutions that could help me understand the logics and rationale within circuits, as well as the challenges and innovations. I especially focused on obtaining interviews with high-profile scientists and experts, people whose work or projects are widely circulated and influential, such as Walter Reid, the head of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, or Gretchen Daily and Hal Mooney at Stanford University. I was surprised and grateful at how willing these individuals were willing to give their time. To conduct interviews I travelled to places like Palo Alto in California, to Cambridge (UK), to Geneva and Gland, to Washington, DC, and to Burlington Vermont. Interviews were conducted in offices, coffee shops, strolling through gardens in Nairobi, and in one case, a peanut bar. They were also, importantly, conducted over the phone. I did not identify significant differences between either type of interview, in person or remotely. To 26 summarize, interviews were conducted with individuals associated with the following organizations and institutions: • Non-governmental organizations: Forest Trends, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Packard Foundation, World Resources Initiative • Intergovernmental Organizations and government: International Union for the Conservation of Nature, United Nations Environment Program Financial Initiative, The Netherlands • Financial – Private Sector: World Business Council on Sustainable Development, International Finance Corporation, BC Hydro, Environmental Business Group • Academic: University of British Columbia, Stanford University, Gund School Vermont, Duke, University of California-Berkeley The interviews were varied in levels of insight. Some interviews helped me trace some more detailed histories and to understand the rationales behind some projects and approaches. For example, Walt Reid explained how important the ecosystem service framework was for advancing conservation geopolitically (chapter four). Interviews also enabled me to clarify approaches, as was the case in an interview with a high-profile Berkeley ecologist, Claire Kremen, who troubled my own tight analysis of her research methodology, also revealing a tension in the debates around ecosystem services (also discussed in chapter four). Interviews with leading NGO actors also provided key insights about the future of conservation For example in a peanut bar in ever-sunny Palo Alto, a chief scientist of a major environmental NGO basically told me that biodiversity was a dead-end concept, whereas in another phone interview another actor explained that his organization was worried that ecosystem services were replacing biodiversity. In other cases I found the interviews to be lacking in much insight beyond what I could glean from the interviewee’s written publications. In these cases, it seemed as though interviewees were simply giving me “hard, polished nuggets of rehearsed text” (Dunn 2007, 83). Before I turn to the next research method, a brief word on how interviews are presented in the text of this dissertation. Some interviewees agreed to a full use of their names within my dissertation, whereas others requested confidentiality, or else for consultation on direct use in publications. I decided largely to make the interviewees 27 confidential in the text, except where the person agreed and where it is obvious who the person is. In the text I usually introduce the quote by stating directly that it comes from an interview, and try to give some context for the person is (i.e. type of institution, type of expert or scientist). Analyzing documents, policies, articles and powerpoint presentations In developing a discursive sense of the ‘circuits of power and knowledge’, my research relied heavily on analysis of written texts generated by experts, academics, and institutions. For example, to develop an understanding of the Beijer project on biodiversity (chapter three), for example, I reviewed books and articles generated by the project in the early 1990s. For my investigations on risk (chapter five), I examined nine policy documents produced by institutions like the United Nations Environment Program and organizations like Flora and Fauna International. This project also relied upon intensive and indispensable internet research. As Roy (2010) writes, the web is “not only a source of important material”, but also “a space of knowledge, one where debates [are] waged, blogs [are] maintained and products branded” (36). I sourced many archival materials through the internet, including minutes from meetings, summaries of presentations, background consultant reports, archived webinars, as well as the ever-present powerpoint presentations. To follow the day-by-day, contemporary discussions around global biodiversity politics, through the course of my research I habitually scanned the webpages of ‘Ecosystem Marketplace’ – which describes itself as the Bloomberg of environmental markets, read the twitter feeds of major environmental organizations, and followed any hot debates surrounding new commentaries in academic journals like Nature and Science. Staying connected in the ‘lifeworld’ of the global biodiversity apparatus through the internet is a key way to be in the circuit and remain in touch with new and old debates. Perhaps even more central to my research was intensive participant-observation, to which I turn. Participant observation As discussed above, my research was often conducted as a participant in the global biodiversity apparatus. Between 2008-2011 I attended seven global biodiversity conferences and events – outlined in Table 1 below. This includes four negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a venue with which I am deeply familiar. The biodiversity and 28 ecosystem finance conferences, however, were a new site of participation, as was the Trondheim conference, which was a high profile, invite-only science-policy conference I attended on behalf of the CBD Alliance. These conferences were perhaps the most important and illuminating sites for my research project. Attending these conferences was a fast way to become placed inside the ‘circuits of power and knowledge’, and to become immersed in the codes, languages, ideas, and debates. By this I mean that you can become familiar with, in one place, and in one site, a wide range of initiatives and actors. In my experience, understanding the global biodiversity apparatus is made much easier at these sites where knowledge production can be observed ‘in action’, as new ideas are pitched, discussed, and challenged. These are sites where “diverse and dispersed professionals meet” (Goldman 2005, 33), to debate, craft and challenge “ideas, concepts, policies” (Goldman 2005, 33). While expensive (on many levels), these conferences are invaluable in identifying cutting- edge policies, methodologies, and projects in relation to market-based biodiversity policies. One is able to ‘study’ elites in the biodiversity apparatus in a setting that is predominately inaccessible to social science researchers, unless, of course, you are a part of creating the projects. 29 Figure 1. The author in Nairobi, Kenya at a Convention on Biological Diversity negotiation At CBD negotiations, for example, one does not only encounter and observe bureaucrats and diplomats trying to build consensus on international law and policy, but also the daily ritual of ‘side events’. Side events are the name given to themed presentations and sessions that take place at negotiations of the CBD during the two hour lunch break (between 1-3 pm), or after the formal session ends (at 6.30). There are usually a dozen or two dozen events happening simultaneously, organized by NGOs, governments, business organizations, international organizations, and even, occasionally, by academic research institutes. As at an academic conference, one chooses between these various events, sometimes by interest or sometimes by the quality of the lunch offered. It is common knowledge that your side event will be lightly peopled without the requisite free lunch. Just for example, on Wednesday the 27th of October, during COP 10, at only one lunch break, one could attend fourteen 1.5 hour sessions with topics such as: 30 - Global Platform on Business and Biodiversity (hosted by Nippon Keidanren, the Japanese Business Federation) - Corporate Ecosystem Valuation – Business Guidance and Examples (hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development) - Steppes and Deserts of Eurasia: A refuge for migratory species (hosted by the Convention on Migratory Species) - From Carbon Negative to Biodiversity Positive: a new paradigm for business responsibility? (hosted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Business and Biodiversity Offset Program) - Assessment and Indicators on Biodiversity - the Japan Biodiversity Outlook (hosted by the Ministry of Environment of Japan) - Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (hosted by Ministry of Environment and Forests of India) Later that same day, twenty-four more side events took place in the evening slots. Similar numbers of events happened on each of the 10-day negotiations. For both developing my research project and conducting research, participation in ‘side events’ played an important role. As I show in chapter seven, critical research material was gathered at these events where the policy proponents “sold” their ideas to government delegates. As noted above, at these negotiations I did much more than attend side events, as I produced analysis, organized press conferences (including one that featured a ‘back-from- extinction Dodo bird), and worked with other participants from the CBD Alliance to influence the shape of the text produced. This meant crafting ‘interventions’, statements that are read from the conference room floor in front of all delegates.10 But above all, participating in UN conferences meant sitting and listening to delegates make arguments and counter-arguments for long periods of time, in either rooms that are too cold, or too hot, or too big, or too small. It meant following carefully the ‘text’ of the decision as it shifts and shapes through the arguments and suggestions, which I outline in detail in chapter seven. Following carefully the negotiations at COP 10 on ‘innovative financial mechanisms’, I also made my own ‘text’ suggestions that I copied and handed out to several ‘friendly’ delegates. In other words, I participated in lobbying. Put generally, attending and participating in CBD 10 The CBD Alliance asked me to read the closing statement in the final plenary. The statement, which I co- wrote, can be read at http://www.cbdalliance.org/blog/2010/11/1/final-cbd-alliance-statement-29-october.html. It was ultimately not read out loud during the closing final plenary because of time constraints. 31 negotiations made it possible to develop a nuanced and detailed sense of the terrain of international politics around market-based mechanisms, a terrain I present in chapter seven. At the London Biodiversity and Ecosystem Finance Conference I learned that NGOs were working with financial firms and business organizations to elaborate a notion of ‘biodiversity business risks’, and talked informally with people beginning discussions with ratings agencies like Standard and Poor’s on the issue of firm exposure to biodiversity and ecosystem changes. Despite being a long-time participant in the global biodiversity world, this was the first time I was exposed to these ideas, which now form the basis of chapter five. But both the London and New York conferences on biodiversity and ecosystem finance provided an excellent overview of the kinds of projects and actors trying to make ‘biodiversity markets’. It is unclear that the material discussed in chapter six of this dissertation could have been gathered otherwise. Conference research, while helpful in many regards and often yielding substantive analytical insights (see chapters six and seven), has limitations. There is a risk in only seeing one layer of the apparatus, one that is fit for public consumption and filled with often self- aggrandizing information. In my project, I used the conferences as kind of ‘gateway’ into further research. For example, in chapter five, I ended up gathering a broad array of policy reports and materials related to the subject of risk, interviewing report authors, and also identifying emerging tools and methodologies to calculate ‘business biodiversity risks’. Combining methodologies and approaches worked in my project to get past the sometimes thin veneer of the conference circuit. (Although as I show in chapter seven the international negotiations around the CBD are full of conflict and disagreements.) 32 Event Date Location 8th Conference of the Parties to the CBD May 2008 Bonn, Germany Biodiversity and Ecosystem Finance Conference (1) Nov 2008 London, UK Biodiversity and Ecosystem Finance Conference (2) Jan 2009 New York Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity Feb 2010 Trondheim, Norway 14th Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) May 2010 Nairobi, Kenya 3rd Open ended Working Group on Review of Implementation May 2010 Nairobi, Kenya 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity October 2010 Nagoya, Japan Table 1. Author participation in global biodiversity conferences 2008-2011 Key themes and contributions Seeking permanent visibility in a highly uncertain ecological world In tracing ‘circuits of power and knowledge’ that produce the ‘global biodiversity apparatus’ this dissertation develops a unique perspective on the global biodiversity conservation, beginning with its origins in the early 1980s. While there are many stories to tell about global biodiversity conservation, my story is one of making biodiversity visible, legible and economic so that it can be accounted for in governance processes. Indeed, one ‘tag line’ for the story I tell could be: ‘In order to make live, one must ‘make economic’’. Global biodiversity conservation is embroiled within processes of ‘rendering scientific’ in order to prove the use value of diversity, and with ‘rendering economic’ in order to obtain the most efficient and optimal policies for conservation. These renderings are increasingly conducted together in order to convince the ‘decision makers’, particularly in Ministries of Finance and those holding the purse strings, to invest in conservation, or else to accept the 33 costs (to economic development, government taxation revenue) that come with stronger laws and policies that protect biodiversity. Indeed, across all the ‘circuits’ I trace, I find actors involved in the ‘apparatus’ seeking a kind of “permanent visibility” for biodiversity. By this, I mean that they are trying to develop the conditions by which biological diversity can be permanently accounted for within political economic life. The terminology “permanent visibility” comes from Foucault’s (1995) discussion of the Panopticon in Discipline and Punish. The Panopticon is a building designed by Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century that allows an observer to observe all inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. The brilliance of the Panopticon, for Bentham, is the way that it is a form of power, or a technique of power, that achieves its ends efficiently, in that it does not rely upon power added from the outside, “like a rigid, heavy constraint”. Rather the exercise of power is “subtly present”, built into the mode of visibility itself, into the very architecture of the building. The major effect of the Panopticon, read through Foucault, is “to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power” (201). ‘Automatic’ is a key aspect to this previous quote, and also to my dissertation, because as my dissertation shows, the goal is not only to make biodiversity visible, but also to ensure that ‘nature’ or biodiversity is taken care of in a neutral, objective and rational manner, almost automatically and permanently. While much global biodiversity advocacy has focused on establishing protected areas and managing people (with sometimes violent consequences), the larger vision, viewed over and over again in my dissertation, is of a promissory future where nature will actually take care of itself, and be permanently included in biopolitical calculations. Through my research, we see how the global biodiversity apparatus is searching for a way to ensconce biological diversity, to entrench it within the sights of power-brokers, permanently, with a wholly biopolitical goal of saving life on earth. This is an objective that is pursued via bringing economic logics and rationalities to bear on biological diversity, as Foucault (2008) describes, a “making of a permanent economic tribunal for life” (247). My dissertation charts attempts to construct a kind of ‘permanent economic tribunal’ for biodiversity. Through this charting, I highlight the profound challenges and difficulties dominant and elite actors face in securing a ‘panoptic vision’ over global biodiversity. Making biodiversity an entity of 34 “permanent visibility”, or establishing a “permanent economic tribunal for life” is an idealized vision that, like the Panopticon, is never fully realized. To embed these ideas in my dissertation, I offer a few examples. In chapter two, I show how the very origins of the concept of biodiversity is entangled with economic rationalities, particularly the latent values within genetic resources, values thought to be so promising in terms of dollars and cents that once sold, or licensed, could provide a permanent justification for ‘saving biodiversity’. Other ‘circuits’ I trace focus on a different attempt to make permanently visible through the ecosystem services that biodiversity provides, the subject of chapters three and four. If we could establish the “economic value of a change in the level of ecological services associated with a change in the level of biodiversity” (Perrings et al 1992, 204), then we could show, once and for all, how biodiversity conservation is an economically sound, and thus rational policy choice. This, as I show in chapters two to four, is difficult to do when the ecological relationships between biological diversity and ecosystem service provision are often unknown, and especially un-quantifiable. Yet, ecologists and economists that I study in the course of this dissertation continue to seek the models, methodologies and functions that could express the value of biodiversity through ecosystem services, and thus also through the supposedly neutral terms of economic cost and benefits. The last three chapters of my dissertation also demonstrate attempts to make biodiversity ‘permanently visible’, focussing on how biodiversity is becoming visible and legible through market calculations, and into systems of profit and loss. In chapter five, for example, I focus on attempts to convince private sector firms and actors that their ‘bottom- lines’ face risks from biodiversity loss. In making such risks legible and calculable to firms, the international organizations and NGOs behind this approach are attempting to incite firms to act otherwise, and especially to minimize their exposure to risks through investments in conservation. This is an approach that also aims to create opportunities for new businesses that specialize in identifying, measuring and mitigating for ‘business biodiversity risks’. It is also, I argue, another attempt to make biodiversity ‘permanently visible’. In chapter six, I focus my attention on discussions oriented towards market-making for biodiversity conservation, or attempts to produce the conditions upon which biodiversity conservation can become a ‘money-making opportunity’ and thus be accounted for in a capitalist system. This attempt, like the others, faces challenges and debates, including perhaps most significantly, 35 challenges in producing robust regulatory frameworks that will produce ‘money-making opportunities’ in conservation (the subject of chapter seven). “Enterprising” biodiversity In attempts to create ‘permanent visibility’ in a capitalist world, what emerges across all my research is a sense that proponents of ‘economistic approaches’ are trying to develop the conditions where nature can ultimately take care of itself. In many ways, drawing from Foucault’s (2008) exposition of neoliberal governmentality, the broad aim is to create the conditions where non-humans, along with humans, can become “entrepreneurs of himself [or themselves]” (226). While non-humans cannot be ‘subjectified’ in the same ways as humans, what I am alluding to here is the development of conditions – the representations, regulatory conditions, and calculative devices – that can liberate ‘nature’ from the bonds of human care and relationships, and allow it, or components of it to ‘prove’ their worthiness in the competitive, market-based systems of modern governance. If a particular part of biodiversity – a species or an assemblage of species - can prove itself to be ‘enterprising’ enough: meaning both important enough to other ‘enterprises’ or to ‘human wellbeing’, then it can be conserved, or made “less killable” (in Haraway’s terminology). The ultimate goal of a neoliberal governmentality logic in the biodiversity sphere then, is the creation of the conditions under which biodiversity can become ‘enterprising’. Under such conditions, ‘making live’, really does require ‘making economic’.11 But making economic or enterprising, as this dissertation shows, means differentiating between species, or groups of species and spaces. It means setting the conditions wherein the differential value of species and sites can be calculated. While biodiversity begins out of concern with all diversity, with the totality of life on earth, what we see through the course of this dissertation is an ongoing tension between concern for the ‘totality’ and a more economically rationalized focus on identifying and investing in the most important, most valuable parts of nature, or else at least identifying quantitatively the ‘tradeoffs’ that investing in certain types of nature have over others. Through an economic logic, we must ‘invest in life’ (Foucault 2008), but that investment must be efficient and 11 This does not mean that nonhumans adopt business plans and take self-help courses, or hire marketing agents. The adoption of economic calculus and conditions for ‘entreprising nature’ to emerge has implications for nonhuman lives, especially in terms of which lives become more or less ‘killable’. Being made more or less killable does not mean either that the nonhuman nature will follow according to plan or discipline (i.e. become extinct or endangered), because similar to humans, many nonhumans are capable of adapting to new conditions, and even thriving in them, despite efforts to eradicate. 36 directed, not for all. Only the most ‘enterprising’ of nature is worthy of investment. However, sorting out which parts of nature are the most ‘enterprising’ in quantitative terms is incredibly challenging in ecological terms, challenges foregrounded in many chapters of this dissertation (but especially the early chapters). As one ecologist I interviewed noted, “The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services is an area we need a lot of research in …we don’t know what diversity does”. New knowledge and tools – calculative devices (see below on Venture Science) – are emerging to soothe these challenges, but tensions still exist especially related to the necessity of the ‘totality’ of biodiversity vs. more targeted, calculated interventions. Enterprising nature and biodiversity are not a smooth policy pathway, but rather filled with tensions and contestations. We see this particularly in the penultimate chapter of my dissertation, where intergovernmental strife over market- mechanisms erupts, derailing attempts to create the international conditions upon which ‘enterprising life’ can emerge. North – South tensions Secondly, my dissertation shows how the circuits of ‘power and knowledge’, particularly the institutions involved in these circuits, have been relatively stable over time. ‘Making biodiversity’ economic is a project that largely defined in the ‘global North’. Academic institutions like Stanford, international organizations like the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and NGOs like World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute and Conservation International remain core players, along with international business organizations like the World Business Council on Sustainable Development. These institutions are based almost exclusively in the North, and draw from knowledge backgrounds steeped in ecology and economics. These circuits have, over the past 25 years, focused on making non-humans visible, a project that requires new kinds of abstractions and representations, as well as tools and models, and actors within these institutions are positioned as having the expertise to do so. What this reflects is still the persistent tendency for global environmental initiatives, or the kind of nature to be saved, to be defined and located in the “the superior economic and institutional power of Northern parties and Northern-based NGOs” (McAfee 1999, 140). Making biodiversity ‘economic’ and permanently visible is quite often linked to the problem of ‘development’. The idea of “green development” (McAfee 1999) is a promissory dream hinging upon ‘unleashing’ the monetary values of the biodiversity in the Global South. 37 If only, the proponents of ‘green development’ state, we could find a way to make robust nature – biodiverse spaces – profitable for countries in the ‘Global South’. If only we could bring the ‘latent values’ in biodiversity – its genetic resources, the ecosystem services it supports – from ‘outside’ the market, in. Then we could achieve green development. As Timothy Mitchell (2007) shows in his work on Hernado de Soto and the promise of formal land markets, this notion of ‘unleashing’ value by bringing that which is outside the market in, is a powerful and persistent development trope. The notion that millions of dollars in unrealized value – biodiversity in the Global South - sits awaiting the right ‘conditions’ that can bring it into realization can be found throughout my dissertation (but especially in chapter seven, where I discuss attempts to create what is called a ‘Green Development Mechanism’, a fiscal mechanism that aims to create internationally-certified credits in biodiversity conservation). This vision of biodiversity as ‘just outside’ the market is a key effect of the last 25 years of global biodiversity politics and demonstrates the power of economics, or rather, the performativity of economics, which as Mitchell (2007) argues is often at its most productive when it is producing and demarcating “certain forms of life as informal or non-market” (268), and “managing this border” between the market and non- market, a border that economics produces. In developing ideas, theories or tools and techniques that could allow for the movement of people or assets or life across the border from outside to inside the market, the line itself (between inside and outside the market) produced by economics and economists. Indeed, as Mitchell argues, economics enframes entities like biodiversity, or in his case, untitled, un-propertized or un-titled land, as just outside the market, simply waiting to be “properly represented – by property records, prices, or other systems of reference” (Mitchell 2007, 248), a representation that is thought to unleash capital and value. What is most important for my discussion here is that this vision of ‘green development’ hinges upon the production of things like biodiversity as existing just out of reach of market calculations, and on the development of the regulatory apparatus that can unleash the potential that these countries ‘always had’. This, of course, does not mean that public governance or regulation is not necessary. Rather quite the opposite. Bringing biodiversity ‘inside the market’ requires legal, institutional, and scientific reorganization. This ‘development trope’, as I show in chapter seven, is one that is not blindly accepted with many countries persistently pointing to the importance of re-distribution. 38 Venture science and the production of nature Thirdly, a key theme emerging from this dissertation revolves around the emergence of “venture science”, a term I borrow from Kaushik Sunder Rajan’s (2006) work on the entanglements of biology and genomics. Venture science, for Rajan, emerges through the implosion of “enterprises of fact production with those of capitalist value generation” (114). Venture science, as Rajan, and also Hayden (2003) and Haraway (1996) show, is something well known for the genomic, or pharmaceutical-oriented sciences. My dissertation, however, interrogates the new implosions in ecology and conservation biology, and, as Robertson (2006) aptly describes, are producing ‘natures that capital can see’. The emerging articulations of knowledge and devices that render biodiversity economic – such as methodologies of risk assessment discussed in chapter five, or models of ecosystem service delivery discussed in chapter four - demonstrate well the turn to an emerging venture science. As I chronicle in chapter five, we now see conservation NGOs making their data available in new, anonymous formats that can allow businesses, on a fee-for-service basis, to identify sites of high biodiversity (to avoid risks, but also to identify opportunities). These articulations, I argue, are changing the way in which environmental knowledge is produced and legitimated, producing new priorities and hierarchies for which lives matter, when and where. This was exemplified during an International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presentation at the London ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Finance conference’ I attended in the course of my research. In this presentation, the chief economist from IUCN presented on a new partnership between Danone, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Ramsar Convention12, a partnership that is focussing on creating methodologies and standards for ‘wetland carbon’ that would allow companies like Danone to purchase credits in the conservation of mangroves (or other wetlands), and receive credit for those purchases towards their carbon footprint. According to this presentation, the multinational company Danone approached IUCN because it was interested in becoming carbon neutral not through existing carbon offsets (in energy efficiency upgrades, or reforestation), but through wetlands. Danone’s interest in wetlands comes from the connections its products have with water; Danone is the biggest producer of fresh dairy products and the second-largest producer of bottled waters (including Evian) and baby food, 12 The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty focused on the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. 39 generating €17.010 million in sales in 2010. Given the ecosystem services that wetlands provide, especially for water quality, Danone wanted to invest in ‘wetland carbon’ “to green its Evian label,” but also to link the “brand to responsible action to mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity and support local livelihoods” (IUCN 2011).13 Danone, IUCN and the Ramsar Convention developed a methodology for calculating the carbon stored in wetlands. These methodologies are now approved and adopted under the only global, regulated carbon market under the Kyoto Protocol, and as such brings carbon finance into wetland conservation as it allows companies and countries to make investments in wetland carbon offsets. This partnership between a multinational company (Danone), the world’s largest conservation organization (IUCN), the Ramsar Convention (a multilateral, state based agreement), and the fiscal mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol (the Clean Development Mechanism), is an exemplar of the ‘circuit of venture science’ in that it defined a quantitative, legally and scientifically recognized methodology to measure carbon stored in wetlands. It also demonstrates the way that nature is being ‘produced’ through methodologies of ecosystem service calculation, a production that is not oriented around vast changes in land use for the production of timber, but rather its conservation. But as Smith wrote in 1984, this particular ‘production of nature’ is still one that is generated – like the operations of timber multinationals – by the logics of capitalist production. Although it is important to note that different methodologies and partnerships in ‘venture science’ have differing implications. This is demonstrated well comparing chapters four and five of my dissertation. In chapter four I examine the ‘InVEST’ tool that aims to predict changes in ecosystem services based on different land use configurations, in order to help choose between different land use futures. In chapter five I examine tools that aim to turn changes in biological diversity into risk parameters for firm calculations. The latter tool uses capitalist logics of profit and loss explicitly to guide investments in nature (or not), whereas the former (InVEST) relies more on a logic of cost-benefit analysis in decision- making, a utilitarian value system of quantifying and choosing between different courses of action, usually by regulatory agencies. 13 http://www.iucn.org/about/union/commissions/ceesp/ceesp_publications/?7257/The-Wetland-Carbon- Partnership-continues-for-a-3rd-Year 40 Dissertation roadmap Part I. Histories, concepts and networks Chapter 2 This chapter introduces the main subject of the dissertation – biological diversity. It focuses on the origins of biodiversity and its rise into a global entity of concern, a consideration of mainstream institutions and policy. In so doing, I also begin to chart the circuitry of global biological diversity, particularly highlighting its emergence in the global North, within the academic ecology and governmental institutions of the United States, and the centrality of their concern with biological diversity in the Global South. I posit that the birth of biodiversity, and its rise to global prominence, is underpinned by a general hypothesis that the future of Homo sapiens itself depends upon an aggregated population of diverse non-humans on the planet, biological diversity. Through this discussion I demonstrate how this utilitarian biopolitical focus is a site of tension within the rise of biological diversity, and also how the concern with diversity is one largely defined by institutions and actors in the North, with its gaze fixed on the spaces of the Global South. In charting the rise of biodiversity into a major environmental concern, I focus on policy discussions within the United States, showing how the production of biological diversity emerges out of many threads, cohering in the 1980s amid growing concern for species extinction and genetic erosion, particularly related to tropical deforestation. Its rise is linked to the broader biopolitical concern for ‘humanity’, but is also intimately connected to the promissory monetary values in genetic resources, resources that disappear with reduced populations and extinctions of non-humans. In this section I emphasize how the rise in biological diversity is a concern that is linked to the interests of the United States, and especially to its life science industries. In the second half of the chapter, I focus on how establishing biodiversity loss as a biopolitical ‘matter of fact’ – meaning that biodiversity is central to human wellbeing - is incredibly challenging. Biodiversity is a difficult entity to make “permanently visible” and governable. I outline challenges in measuring biodiversity, demonstrating that while biodiversity is a conception of life that is increasingly supported by a wide range of allies, its epistemological and ontological status, meaning what it is, and how its status can be known, remains open and debated. Even further, as I show in the final section of the chapter, scientific proponents of biodiversity face challenges in showing why biodiversity decline matters at all. An international scientific project focused on biodiversity 41 and ecosystem functioning in many ways undermines the hypothesis that humanity relies on the totality of nonhuman lives, or biodiversity. The result is a call for new calculative methodologies that can show which non-human lives might matter more than others for ‘securing life on earth’. The science of biodiversity conservation, according to the outcomes of this project, must focus more on the optimization, rationalization and especially, the economization of non-human lives. Chapter 3 This chapter focuses on the articulation between two knowledge systems, that of ecology and economics, an articulation that creates a new form of knowledge, the field often described as the “economics of biodiversity”. While there are other sites where one could explore this topic, the empirical focus of this chapter is on increasing entanglements between economists and ecologists at Stanford University and at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as they tackle this problem of making biodiversity visible, legible and calculable within governance. The Beijer Institute, particularly its program on biological diversity in the early 1990s, is worth focusing on because it is a key “forum of articulation” that aims to produce a biodiversity that can be more easily seen and accounted for in cost-benefit or accounting dominated governance processes; it aims to produce a kind of nature that both capital and the state can better see, and thus govern instrumentally and via an economic rationality (after Robertson 2006). In transposing “economic analytical schema and criteria for economic decision making onto spheres which are not, or certainly not exclusively economic areas” (Lemke 2001, 197), the Beijer project on biodiversity is a site that begins producing a form of neoliberal governmentality in the sphere of biodiversity. Through the Beijer programme, biodiversity loss becomes a technical problem focused on rationalizing, optimizing and managing co-joined nonhuman lives through economic logics and rationalities. It becomes centred on ecosystem service provision and resiliency, as well as on ‘internalizing externalities’. The Beijer project on biodiversity marks a consolidation of a new disciplinary field, the economics of biodiversity. Like other fields and disciplines, it positions experts of this field, especially ecologists and economists, optimistically as the harbingers of the necessary knowledge and measures needed to adequately solve the problem. 42 II. Calculating trade offs, calculating risks Chapter 4 In this chapter I chart the formalization of the concept of ecosystem services, as the term acquires generally accepted meaning and also become more widely drawn upon. In particular, I demonstrate the importance of new frameworks and especially calculative devices that can quantitatively predict changes in ecosystem services, and thus provide a basis for choosing between courses of action on economic terms, bringing into being neoliberal governmentality (Foucault 2008) that transposes economic analytical schema and criteria onto conservation priorities. The chapter begins by giving some context to the rise of ecosystem services, focussing particularly on the various rationales that underpin the embrace of the approach by ecologists and conservation NGOs. This section draws upon 17 interviews conducted with ecologists, conservationists, and economists, as well as extensive review of the ecosystem service academic literature. Then I move into a brief examination of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA14), the first major assessment of the world’s ecosystem services, conducted by over 1300 scientists and economists between 2001-2005. The MA concretizes a framework for understanding ecosystem services, defining and categorizing the various services. Most critically, it begins to elaborate the importance of specifying, quantifying and ideally valuing ‘trade-offs’ between various ecosystem services. Managing for ecosystem services, through the MA, is defined as a problem of determining how to allocate “scarce resources for competing goals” (Lemke 2001, 197), or to manage the necessary ‘tradeoffs’. But making these allocations requires new knowledges about how ecosystem services are provided, and new calculative devices that can compute and predict how these services will change given different courses of action. Following the discussion of the MA, I ‘touch down’ by examining a new calculative device created by a joint initiative based as Stanford University. This spatially explicit computer model – called InVEST - aims to calculate changes in ecosystem services based upon land use and land cover changes. This model, following Callon (1998) and others like Mitchell (2002) and Lohmann (2009), enframes ecosystems in ways that allow for calculation and valuation of ecosystem services. In rendering the costs and benefits of different land uses visible and quantifiable, InVEST aims to give the state, or decision makers, the tools to simultaneously govern environmentally and economically, and enable it to design policies that could maximize 14 MA is the common acronym for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment because MEA is, comically, taken up by ‘Multi-lateral Environmental Agreement’. I retain the use of MA because of the common usage. 43 value. In conclusion to the chapter I show how the rationality and methodologies supporting ecosystem services are not closed, but rather openly debated and contested. Unlike a vision of ‘the art of government’ that “operates and circulates with very little deviation” (Rutherford 2007, 300), in this concluding section I show how neoliberal governmentality does not “arise as a fully realized project”, but as Rutherford (2007) states, is “debated, revised, fine-tuned and continuously in need of re-articulation” (300). In my case, this includes the on-going tension about the role of biodiversity in ecosystem services, as well as the role of markets. Chapter 5 This chapter focuses on attempts to render biodiversity loss as a risk to the ‘bottom line’ calculations of the private sector. I trace the key actors, reports, and methodologies producing ‘biodiversity loss as risk’, and outline some of the challenges, paradoxes and implications of this transformation. Biodiversity business risks, I argue, are a crucial part of the promissory ‘green economy’, an economy that acknowledges and manages the risks to ecosystems and biodiversity by finding new sites for opportunity and profit, while at the same time ‘saving the planet’. I suggest that risk, and risk assessment frameworks are critical (and underexplored) part of neoliberal governmentality, as it is through identifications of risk to capital that the opportunities for ‘risk management’ and investments often emerge. However biodiversity loss is a difficult to transform into a risk that can cause firms to act otherwise. New calculative devices are emerging to help ‘individuate’ and calculate biodiversity risks for firms, and in the second half of this chapter I examine two such tools. The tools I focus on – the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool and the Corporate Ecosystem Service Review (CESR) – aim to produce a kind of biodiversity and ecosystems that are linked to a potential monetary loss and opportunities. These tools devised to produce biodiversity risk, I suggest, have effects. Corporate-conservation backed searches for the truths of ecological risk and value produce new spaces for investment/disinvestment, and they also (yet again) re- define what biological diversity is, bringing forward new (and old) ways of adjudicating between what kinds of ‘natural’ spaces and species matter most, and for whom. III. Making markets and assets Chapter 6 While the often academically based experts of the previous chapters exist, in many cases, at arms length from business and financial institutions, this chapter moves into a different 44 sphere, one where profit and ‘money-making’ become more central to the equation. Drawing from participant observation at two conferences on the topic of ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Finance’, the chapter focuses on discussions regarding ‘market-making’ for biodiversity conservation that are conducted by an array of largely US and European based actors. Following an exposition of the actors present at these conferences, I build an understanding of the challenges of making biodiversity conservation profitable, and legible in the sights of financiers. Chapter 7 This chapter moves away from discussions, initiatives, tools and methodologies of risk assessment and focuses on intergovernmental debates over the opportunities of the promised ‘new world order’ of biodiversity “innovative financial mechanisms”, with attempts to make an internationally approved ‘biodiversity credit’ that will attract capital investments, and eventually be part of reducing the ‘social costs’ of biodiversity loss (making a more perfect market). Empirically, the chapter focuses on recent (2010-2011) debates over market-based approaches to global conservation within the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The chapter traces the contours of the international debate that occurred in the lead up and during COP 10, and focuses in on one attempt to make a globally tradable, UN- approved asset in biodiversity through the Green Development Mechanism. This mechanism – supported by several European countries and NGOs - aimed to create a United Nations certified ‘biodiversity credit’ that could attract increased private sector investment in conservation, paving the way for a more formalized market in international biodiversity credits. But the vision of innovative finance, and the Green Development Mechanism, is not a shared vision, indeed the very idea of ‘innovative financial mechanisms’ is hotly debated and struggled over within the CBD. In debates about this mechanism, and the broader move to ‘innovative financial mechanisms’, NGOs, social movements and some governments raise concerns about other ‘externalities’ of these policies, including the ‘commodification of nature’. Due to these concerns raised over and over in the negotiations, the Parties to the CBD are unable to move forward on the GDM, or any other innovative financial mechanisms. 45 Chapter 2. The Rise of Biodiversity Objects like the fetus, chip/computer, gene, race, ecosystem, brain, database, and bomb are stem cells of the technoscientific body. Each of these curious objects is a recent construct or material-semiotic ‘object of knowledge’, forged by heterogeneous practices in the furnaces of technoscience. To be a construct does NOT mean to be unreal or made up; quite the opposite. Out of each of these nodes or stem cells, sticky threads lead to every nook and cranny of the world. Which threads to follow is an analytical, imaginative, physical and political choice … The articulations among the stem cells and within each of them, are links that matter in what gets affectionately called the ‘real world’. How do technoscientific stem cells link up with each other in life? How do differently situated human and non-human actors and actants encounter each other in interactions that materialize worlds in some forms rather than others? - Donna Haraway 1997, 129 "Biological diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. – Article 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity Introduction In this chapter, I read biological diversity as a potent stem cell that reaches into every nook and cranny of contemporary conservation policy and practice. Following alongside scholarship like Donna Haraway’s work on genes, and Timothy Mitchell’s analysis of the economy, I view biodiversity not as a way for describing or representing what already exists, or simply a better abstraction for ‘reality’, but as “part of a general reorganization of forms of calculation, appropriation, and government” (Mitchell 2002, 94). As a new grammar for life, biological diversity “articulates a new relationship between nature and society in the global contexts of science, cultures and economies” (Escobar 1998, 55). This chapter introduces the main subject of the dissertation – biological diversity. It focuses on the origins of biodiversity and its rise into a global entity of concern, into the considerations and visibility of mainstream institutions and policy. In so doing, I also begin to chart the circuitry of global biological diversity – particularly highlighting its emergence in the global North, within the academic ecology and governmental institutions of the United States, and the centrality of their concern with biological diversity in the Global South. In the first section of the chapter, drawing from Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s 1981 book Extinction and the World Conservation Strategy produced by the International Union for the 46 Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 198015, I posit that the birth of biodiversity, and its rise to global prominence are positioned largely as biopolitical concerns, concerns largely defined by institutions and actors in the North, with its gaze fixed on the spaces of the Global South. The future of Homo sapiens, early biodiversity discourse tells us, depends upon the diverse population of non-humans on the planet – biological diversity. Following this, I turn my attention to the formalization and rise of concern with biological diversity. I show how the production of biological diversity emerges out of many threads, cohering in the 1980s amid growing concern for species extinction and genetic erosion, particularly related to tropical deforestation. Its rise is linked to the broader concern for ‘humanity’, but is also intimately connected to the promissory monetary values in genetic resources, resources currently subject to degradation and destruction. In this section I emphasize how the rise in biological diversity is linked to the interests of the United States, and especially to its life science industries. In this sense, biodiversity has always been linked to economic logics. In the second half of the chapter, I show how on establishing biodiversity loss as a biopolitical ‘matter of fact’, meaning central to the human health and wellbeing, is a challenging proposition. Biodiversity is a difficult entity to make “permanently visible” (Foucault 1995, 201) and governable. I focus first on laying out challenges in measurement, demonstrating that while biodiversity is a conception of life that is increasingly supported by a wide range of allies, its epistemological and ontological status, meaning what it is, and how its status can be known, remains open and debated. Further, as I show in the final section of the chapter, scientific proponents of biodiversity face challenges in showing why biodiversity decline matters at all. An international scientific project focused on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in many ways undermines the biopolitical hypothesis that humanity relies on the totality of nonhuman lives. The result is a call for new calculative methodologies that can show which non-human lives might matter more than others for ‘securing life on earth’. The science of biodiversity conservation, according to the outcomes of this project, must focus more on the optimization, rationalization and especially, the economization of non-human lives. 15 The IUCN was founded in 1948, and calls itself the world’s largest global environmental network with than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. It is not an NGO, as it has governmental representatives, but is considered the world authority for biodiversity conservation. It aims to alleviate extinction and preserve ecosystem integrity, worldwide. 47 Violence to non-humans is violence to Homo sapiens To homo sapiens, which through the extinction of others endangers itself. – The dedication from Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s 1981 Extinction Within the Spanish missions and new technology buildings of Stanford University sits an unassuming building, the Department of Biological Sciences. Despite its modest stature, it is home to several influential ecologists and biologists, including Paul and Anne Ehrlich, as well as Hal Mooney and Gretchen Daily, each of who will reappear in the course of the dissertation. Paul Ehrlich is recipient of most major ecological awards such as the Crafoord Prize, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and considered the highest award given in the field of ecology, as well as the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the ‘genius award’. The Ehrlichs are known perhaps best for their 1968 book The Population Bomb, a neo-Malthusian work focused on population growth and scarcity.16 In 1981, the Ehrlichs published Extinction, a book that along with other major works around the time (Meyers 1979, IUCN 1980) laid down key rationales for the production of biological diversity as an entity of global concern. While not using the terminology of biological diversity, Extinction puts forward the argument that species diversity is central to the earth’s life support systems, providing a basis for healthy ecosystem functioning, which deliver humans the ecosystem goods and services they need to survive. Extinction begins with a powerful metaphor. Imagine, ask the Ehrlichs, you are walking towards your airplane. “You notice a man on a ladder busily prying rivets out of its wing. Somewhat concerned, you saunter over to the rivet popper and ask him just what the hell he’s doing.” The man says he works for the airline, “Growthmania Intercontinential”, “and the airline has discovered that it can sell these rivets for two dollars a piece.” He goes on to tell you that “I’m certain the manufacturer made this plane much stronger than it needs to be, so no harm’s done. Besides, I’ve taken lots of rivets from this wing and it hasn’t fallen off yet” (xi). 16 Both Ehrlichs are long-time supporters of population control as a key aspect of necessary environmental solutions. In this chapter I bracket the darker side of population issues within the Ehrlichs work, as giving due examination would take me outside the realm of this chapter focus, which is on the rise of biodiversity. I will note, however, that Anne Ehrlich is on the board of an organization Federation for American Immigration Reform, which calls for immigration reductions and has been called a hate organization by the Southern Poverty Law Association. Paul Ehrlich at one point advocated cutting off food aid to countries who did not adopt contraception policies (Connelly 2008). There is room for further academic research on the connections between biodiversity conservation and population control and eugenics. 48 The Ehrlichs make an analogy between the rivets and “the extermination of species and populations of non-human organisms” (xii). Like the airplane rivets that hold the plane together, “[s]ome of these species supply or could supply important direct benefits to humanity, and all of them are involved in providing free public services without which society could not persist” (xxi, my emphasis). They go onto make their core claim: “By deliberately or unknowingly forcing species to extinction, Homo sapiens is attacking itself; it is certainly endangering society and possibly even threatening our own species with extermination” (6). This line of argument – that diversity underpins ecosystem functioning and thus ‘human wellbeing’ - comes from a line of ecological thinkers in the second half of the 20th century. Aldo Leopold, Charles Elton, Rachel Carson, and David Ehrenfeld all viewed species diversity as a crucial foundation for human and planetary health, in addition to having ethical beliefs that all species matter and have the right to exist (Takacs 1996).17 As Leopold declared in his 1949 classic text: “What of the vanishing species, the preservation of which we now regard as aesthetic luxury? They helped build the soil; in what unsuspected ways may they be essential to its maintenance?” (Leopold, cited in Takacs 1996, 12). Charles Elton, a prominent ecologist working in the mid 20th century, is considered an early creator of the diversity-stability theorem, which posits, “diversity is important because complex ecosystems are more stable than simplified ecosystems” (Farnham 2007, 183). So the more species present in the ecosystem, the more stable the ecosystem is to disturbances such as invasive species or climate changes. Elton, however, was always careful to say that the link between diversity and stability was not yet proven, and a question we will come to later in this chapter. That human life on earth depends on a diverse assemblage of non-humans is also a key message of the influential 1980 International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report, titled boldly, World Conservation Strategy. Produced with funds from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this document focused on 17 To give a sense of the timing, Aldo Leopold published his seminal work A Sand County Almanac in 1949, Charles Elton published The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants in 1958, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, and David Ehrenfeld published Conserving Life on Earth in 1972 and The Arrogance of Humanism in 1978. 49 “living resource conservation” (again, it is not using the terminology of biological diversity). The Strategy, similar to Ehrlich’s rivet hypothesis, called on governments, practitioners of both conservation and development to conserve non-human living beings in order to “maintain essential ecological processes and life support systems...on which human survival and development depend” (IUCN 1980, vi), “preserve genetic diversity”, and “ensure the sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems” (vi).18 The organizations and institutions around this report also illustrate the developing ‘circuitry’ of the global biodiversity apparatus, an apparatus centred around several key, internationally focused organizations, largely based in the North, and dominated by Northern educated experts. These include the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), as well as the role they make for themselves as the expert managers of global ‘living resources’. Special concern within the Strategy, as well as in Extinction, is on a particular spatial manifestation of ‘living resources’, tropical forests. As such, this is a concern expressed largely through institutions and scientists of the North, but whose gaze is fixed onto the rapidly deforesting forests (in some cases) of the Global South. That the Strategy maps priority protected area demonstrates this well. It identifies huge swaths of the Global South needing protected areas (see Figure 2 below). 18 The argumentation in the Strategy is resolutely utility-focused, citing the loss of soils from deforestation, the reduction of fuel wood, the loss of fisheries capacity, and conservation to conserve genetic diversity. It is a document of sustainable development, reflecting the consensus position formed at the Stockholm conference of 1972 (Adams 2004). 50 Figure 2. Priority protected areas identified in the 1980 IUCN World Conservation Strategy From IUCN et al (1980) © IUCN, WWF, UNEP 1980 by permission The Ehrlichs and the IUCN argue that extinction, or a loss of species and genetic diversity, is above all a crisis of social reproduction (Cooper 2008). This means it is a crisis that threatens “no less than the continuing reproduction of the earth’s biosphere and hence the future of life on earth” (Cooper 2008, 16). In this way, I argue, deforestation, other ecosystem changes like desertification (IUCN 1980), and the attendant loss of species diversity, are positioned as biopolitical concerns, undermining the conditions of possibility for human life. Biopolitics, for Foucault, is a form of power that operates less around a Hobbesian “right to kill”, or to “take life and let live”, but rather through a desire to “promote life, to optimize the forces, aptitudes and life in general” (Youatt 2008, 401). This is a form of power that focuses on “administering and rationalizing life” (Youatt 2008, 400) to secure the health of the aggregate population. Violence and killing are rationalized only when it eliminates “biological threat[s]” to the species or race, or else improves it (Foucault 2003, 51 256). Foucault compares the operation of biopower with that of a more individualizing disciplinary power. For Foucault, biopower is “applied not to man-as-body but to living man, to man-as-living-being; ultimately, if you like, to man-as-species” (242). Its central concern is with the health of the populations, and it operates via the aggregation of individuals, what Foucault calls a “massifying”. Quite radically (in the Western tradition of politics), what the Ehrlichs put forward is that the health of the body politic, of “man as species” (Foucault 2003), relies upon others: all non-human bodies. The population of concern for the Ehrlichs is the diverse body of Homo sapiens, and its rarely recognized dependence upon another mass of diverse bodies – the aggregated ‘rivets’, or species that make up non-human life on earth. While radical in its emphasis on non-humans, the overarching focus on the security and wellbeing of humanity fits within Foucault’s analysis of modern power focused on the care of life, a type of power that operates according to “the logics of vitality, not mortality” (Rabinow and Rose, cited in Hannah 2011, 3). While Foucault’s lectures (2003) focus on the operation of biopower within state racism, the Ehrlichs’ concern with homo sapiens is not motivated by the health and wellbeing, or purity, of the Nation and its citizens, but rather is defined as a global, universal concern. The Ehrlichs in many ways are trying to bring forward a kind of “generous, life- affirmative” environmental biopolitics directed not at the level of the state, but for the whole world, or “global in its vision” (Hannah 2011, 13). Before turning to the rise of biological diversity, it is important to note that the Ehrlichs embrace a biopolitical approach to species diversity with some hesitancy. The Ehrlichs, for example, say that focusing on the services that non humans provide is a kind of necessary evil because ethical arguments about the right to exist of nonhuman life forms, or their aesthetic value and intrinsic interest, or appeals for compassion for what may be our only living companions in the universe, now mostly fall on deaf ears. Until ethical attitudes evolve further, conservation must be promoted as an issue of human well-being and, in the long run, survival (241). This dualism in the rationale for conservation between the innate, ‘intrinsic value’ of other species versus instrumental (use) value they hold is long-standing in Western conservation. Tropical biologist (and creator of biodiversity ‘hotspots’) Norman Myers writes: “However much I may agree that every species has its own right to continued existence on our shared planet, I do not believe that the world yet works that way” (cited in Takacs 1996, 35). Pavan 52 Sukdev, to recall from the introduction, framed the necessity of economic valuation for biological diversity as humanity’s greatest failure in that it reflects a lacking ‘ethic of care’ for non-humans. The utility-focused, biopolitical line of argumentation (about securing the health of homo sapiens), then, is not only a scientific framing, but for ecologists like the Ehrlichs and Myers, is purposefully and strategically deployed in order to achieve an ethical objective, a kind of biophilia – love of live or living systems (Wilson 1984) - that extends to all living things. This dualism is also often couched as one between a kind of ‘biocentrism’ and ‘antropocentrism’ has been roundly critiqued by scholars like Lohmann (1995), and especially from the position of the Global South by Guha (2006), who argues that such a dualism is a Western conservation preoccupation of little use in diagnosing the causes of environmental problems such as overconsumption and militarism. Implications of the ‘rivet hypothesis’ The implications of the Erhlichs’ rivet hypothesis, as they describe it, are profoundly challenging to business as usual political economic life. While supporting the use of conservation areas such as those envisioned in the Strategy (see Figure 2 above), the Ehrlichs also say that the “‘just set aside a preserve’ approach” will be wholly inadequate to deal with the extinction crisis. The Ehrlichs call for dramatic shifts (reversals) in both population and economic growth. “[T]he size of the human population and scale of human activities should be gradually reduced below present levels,” they write (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1988, 26). Indeed, drawing from Herman Daly, they urgently call for a “rationally planned transition to a steady state economic system” (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1981, 244), and denounce mainstream economists and economics for lacking any sense of constraints or limits: decision makers in all societies do not recognize the urgency of getting on with it. In part this is because the economists who advise them are utterly ignorant of the constraints: if they believe there are any limits to physical growth, they think them to be in the distant future and a problem for future generations….They [also] assume that natural resources are infinitely substitutable for one another (245). This vision of de-growth, coming from the very privileged Stanford University, is particularly challenging to the ‘developmentalist’ and growth-oriented Nations of the North and South, and the institutions supporting development like the World Bank. For example, the Ehrlichs are intensely concerned with deforestation in the tropics happening at rates that they claim will cause extinction of 50% of species by the year 2000 (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1980, 281). This deforestation is driven, they posit, by agricultural expansion, forestry 53 operations and cattle ranching, as well as fuelwood collection. Reducing deforestation and extinctions for the Ehrlichs means slowing, or stopping agricultural expansion, forestry operations and cattle ranching. Each is a major site of economic growth for tropical countries like Brazil or Malaysia. For the Ehrlichs, the reduction of population growth would also lessen the source of demand for fuelwood (in the South), and reduce the consumption of commodities (in the North). This dynamic is central to global biodiversity politics and reappears throughout this dissertation: the problem of extinction, and biodiversity loss are a problem that is often defined in the global North, but whose solutions often lays with land use and management elsewhere, especially in tropical countries of the Global South. These demands for others to live differently, to ‘save nature’ from a distance, and especially from places of privilege, perpetuates colonial tropes (i.e. Neumann 1998), leads to dispossession (i.e. Brockington and Igoe 2006, Brockington 2002, Chatty and Colchester 2002) or community conflict (West 2006), and can worsen poverty (i.e. Guha 2006, Shiva et al 1991). Vandana Shiva, writing in the early 1990s, and taking issue with the framing of biodiversity by organizations like IUCN, the World Bank, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) notes how the “crisis of biodiversity erosion is focused as an exclusively tropical and Third World phenomenon”. The “thinking and planning of biodiversity conservation is projected as a monopoly of institutes and agencies based in and controlled by the industrial North” (1991, 7). She goes on to say that “It is as if the mind is in the North, the matter is in the South; the solution is in the North, the problems in the South” (7). Shiva argues that it is Northern framings of conservation that pit the Third World poor as ‘consumers’ of biological diversity through their demand for firewood, fodder and game meat. Rather, she argues, Third World peasants and forest dwellers produce biological diversity, achieving simultaneously “production and conservation’. She states the root of the biodiversity crisis lies with Northern institutions promoting “production systems based on uniformity and commodification”, such as the World Bank’s promotion of agricultural intensification (i.e. Green Revolution) that substituted crop diversity for crop uniformity. While neo-Malthusian in their concern with population growth, especially its relation to the growth in fuelwood collection and the increasing size and scale of ‘slash and burn’ agriculture, the Ehrlichs vision, especially when compared to the vision of the more sustainable development focused IUCN Strategy, is predicated on a radical reorientation of 54 political economic life: “it means that the environmental impacts of the rich must be enormously curtailed to permit the poor a chance for reasonable development” (Ehrlich 1988, 26). They recognize too, like Shiva (1991), the role that ‘rich countries’ play in creating the crisis of biodiversity loss, and call for “a great reduction in the assault rich nations are now mounting on ecosystems – a retreat from overdevelopment” (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1981, 246). Drawing predominantly from Extinction, we see how the birth of biological diversity is underpinned by a generalized hypothesis that the future of homo sapiens depends upon an aggregated population of diverse non-humans on the planet (biological diversity). We see how this utilitarian focus is a site of tension within the Western conservation community, and also how the concern with diversity is largely defined by institutions and actors in the North, with its gaze fixed on the spaces of the Global South. In the following section I focus more carefully on the rise of biodiversity conservation; showing how it emerges out of many threads, rising in the 1980s within the United States government amid growing concern for species extinction and genetic erosion, particularly related to tropical deforestation. The rise of biological diversity Historian Timothy Farnham credits the first ‘official’ definition of biological diversity to ecologists Elliot Norse and Rodger McManus, both working in the late 1970s and early 1980s at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).19 The CEQ coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. The chair of the CEQ at the time, James Gustave Speth (appointed by Jimmy Carter)20, requested Norse and McManus research the losses of animal and plant species and their habitats, or to “write a new chapter for the next CEQ Annual report on an unprecedented subject: the status of life on earth” (cited in Farnham 2007, 16). In this report, biological diversity is produced as the aggregated population of species that underpins ecosystem functioning (as in the section above), but also includes genetic diversity: 19 The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) coordinates Fed
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Making markets, making biodiversity : understanding global biodiversity politics Dempsey, Jessica Anne 2011
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